Trade winds don't blow in O's direction


The 4 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline didn't cause hearts to palpitate inside the B&O; warehouse yesterday. Orioles officials weren't racing against the clock. It was more of a power walk than a sprint to the finish.

The realization that the Orioles were done dealing came much earlier. They wanted a front-line starting pitcher. They wanted another bat for their lineup, someone who could play first base. They wanted another team to match up with them.

It sounded so simple, but the process became too complicated.

"We worked all the way through it, everybody in the office, all weekend, trying to explore a lot of things," executive vice president Jim Beattie said.

"More than anything else, there was a lot of frustration and general managers thinking that everybody is asking the world for players. There's not a lot of things going on."

Need proof? Not a single deal qualified as a blockbuster, unless Matt Lawton going to the Chicago Cubs is enough to rock the baseball world.

Manny Ramirez and Alfonso Soriano stayed with their clubs. The rumor mill churned for weeks, then spun off its axle. At least nobody was hurt.

"If you look around, a lot of teams were looking for that match and couldn't find it," manager Lee Mazzilli said. "When you have a lot of teams bunched together for the wild card, you're not going to give up players on your big league roster when you're still in it. That makes it a little more difficult."

The Orioles acquired outfielder Eric Byrnes from the Colorado Rockies on Friday, giving them two more days to continue reconstructing their roster before the deadline. "It didn't go down to the wire for us," Beattie said. "We had a few ideas that we were floating out there and we were continuing to explore those, but we didn't get the reception that we were looking for either."

A few weeks ago, the Orioles were close to sending Jorge Julio, Larry Bigbie and Hayden Penn to the Florida Marlins for A.J. Burnett, but they didn't want to absorb third baseman Mike Lowell's contract. They were ready to ship Sidney Ponson to the San Diego Padres for Phil Nevin, who invoked his no-trade clause.

Players will have to pass through waivers before another trade is finalized.

"I got the sense, in talking to the general managers that I had a lot of conversations with, the things they were trying to do," Beattie said. "But in the end, things just didn't get done."

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