Trade talks between the Orioles and Seattle Mariners involving Erik Bedard are alive, though other teams remain in the mix if the Orioles decide to trade their ace pitcher, Andy MacPhail said.
The Orioles' president of baseball operations said yesterday that several other teams have inquired recently about Bedard.
"We continue to talk," MacPhail said when asked about the proposed deal that would send Bedard to Seattle for a package that includes center fielder Adam Jones, reliever George Sherrill and pitching prospect Chris Tillman. "We've had some other clubs chime in as well."
The Orioles have listened to inquiries for Bedard for more than two months, hearing from about a dozen teams. The Mariners, Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets were believed to be the front-runners.
The Dodgers abandoned their pursuit after signing Japanese pitcher Hiroki Kuroda. The Orioles rejected the Mets' offer of outfielder Carlos Gomez, reliever Aaron Heilman and pitching prospect Phil Humber. Two of those players - Gomez and Humber - are reportedly headed to the Minnesota Twins for ace Johan Santana, so the Mets are no longer in the running.
The Reds essentially dropped out when the Orioles informed them at the winter meetings that they would require top outfield prospect Jay Bruce as part of a deal. That left the Mariners as the clear favorite.
The Orioles and Mariners appeared to be close to completing a deal until the past couple of days. MacPhail reiterated that nothing has changed since Sunday night, when Jones, the centerpiece of the Mariners' offer, told reporters in Venezuela he had been traded to the Orioles for Bedard and was headed to Baltimore for a physical.
The Orioles, according to a source familiar with the trade talks, were annoyed that the discussions became public before a deal was complete. The Sun reported Monday that Jones' physical, scheduled for yesterday, had been postponed and not rescheduled, an indication that the deal had hit a snag.
"We're at the same place," MacPhail said. "Still talking. It's just conversations."
The source confirmed that there are other issues that need to be resolved for the trade to go through. One of them remains getting the blessing of Orioles owner Peter Angelos, who is dealing with a personal matter for most of the week. However, MacPhail has been in contact with Angelos about potential deals.
"I talked to him today, and I expect that I'll probably talk to him tomorrow as well," MacPhail said.