The Orioles' pursuit of a trade for Curt Schilling came to an abrupt and involuntary end yesterday when Philadelphia Phillies general manager Lee Thomas decreed the Orioles didn't have enough to make a deal work.
"This puts an end to it," Thomas said. "That's it. Over and out. It's done."
Thomas ended weeks of speculation by saying he would not deal Schilling to any team before Thursday's trade deadline, but allowed that the Orioles were the only team his ace right-hander really wanted to play for.
"I'm happy it's over with," said Schilling (11-10, 3.37 ERA), an Oriole from 1988 to 1990. "Not that it was bothering me, but I always said that my first priority would be to stay and win here [in Philadelphia]."
But there will be a former Oriole rejoining the staff.
Left-hander Rick Krivda has been recalled from the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings' roster. He will join the Orioles today and -- presumably -- start against the Texas Rangers tomorrow night at Camden Yards.
Krivda is the winningest pitcher in the International League, with a 14-2 record and a 3.39 ERA. He has been rumored to be Baltimore-bound for the past few months, but the front office has been hesitant to recall him because he is out of minor-league options. He cannot be sent down without going through irrevocable waivers, and club officials assume he would be claimed by another team.
Manager Davey Johnson repeatedly has said the team would not call up Krivda until the organization believed he was ready to enter the rotation permanently, but Krivda has not officially been announced as tomorrow's starter.
Right-hander Shawn Boskie is listed as the probable starter, but the situation will be clarified today. Boskie probably will pitch in long relief until further notice.
The Orioles have not said how they will make room for Krivda on the 25-man roster. The most obvious way may be to option infielder Aaron Ledesma and go with 13 pitchers until the roster situation shakes out and Thursday's trade deadline passes.
The club also could send Rule 5 draft choice Mike Johnson back to the Toronto Blue Jays or release Boskie and eat the rest of his one-year, $660,000 contract, which has a $100,000 buyout clause for 1998. It also is possible that someone could go on the disabled list, perhaps Johnson -- who has a sprained thumb -- or another reliever.
Cincinnati Reds pitchers John Smiley and Pete Schourek and the Rangers' Ken Hill also remain options for the Orioles, but Schilling was much preferred.
It had been Schilling, not Thomas, who drove trade speculation since July 2, when the right-hander said he would rescind the no-trade clause in his three-year, $15.45 million contract extension given the right team at the right price. Atlanta, Houston, Florida and Cleveland also joined the pursuit.
The likelihood of a trade began to collapse Saturday when Schilling's agent, Jeff Borris, phoned Phillies assistant GM Ed Wade to notify him that his client would accept a trade to the Orioles for a contract upgrade similar to that given Mike Mussina. Thomas balked at the proposal as he believed the Orioles' leading prospects are incompatible with his club's extensive needs.
"The key is we wanted him to stay all along, and we just felt like Baltimore was not the club for us," Thomas said. "Mr. Schilling is going to be a Phillie."
The Orioles waited yesterday for the call that never came but remain hopeful that the approaching trade deadline may yet reignite talks. "I'm sure we'll check back with them this week," said Orioles assistant GM Kevin Malone.
Pub Date: 7/28/97