Try as they may, O's stuck at status quo
Many days of talks, but no deals looming for Bedard, Tejada
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- There won't be any bold-face headlines, and there won't be any rush to judgment regarding Baltimore's performance at the Winter Meetings. The Orioles spent the past four days working toward deals that could potentially move some of their most prominent players to other cities, but nothing appears to be imminent.
"Unfortunately, there wasn't as much activity as I thought there would be trade-wise. I'm disappointed for ourselves and many others," said Baltimore president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail. "We had some opportunities to do some things that we weren't excited about.
"We had some opportunities to make deals that didn't make sense for us, so we declined them. I think it's much better to do that than to be looking at yourself and really wondering what you were thinking."
The Orioles discussed staff ace Erik Bedard with a wide variety of teams, and a few may still be on the radar for future dealings. Miguel Tejada wasn't as hot a topic, but that could change now that Miguel Cabrera has been traded from the Marlins to the Tigers. All of a sudden, Tejada could go from being an afterthought to a prime trading chip.
Baltimore also reportedly discussed dealing Brian Roberts for the second straight year, and that's the kind of deal that could definitely be revisited down the road. MacPhail has shown a proclivity to deal with his former employer, the Cubs -- the team that appears to be interested in Roberts -- and he knows that organization as well or better than he knows the Orioles.
"There are opportunities, I think, to benefit both teams," said MacPhail, speaking in general about his strategy to deal experienced players in favor of youth. "Generally, the way that equation works is, I help you in the immediate future, you help me in the future, but not necessarily the immediate horizon. I think you can find the right kind of deal."
MacPhail acknowledged several times over the past few days that his main interest is in discussing trades with other teams, and he said on Thursday that he doesn't have any "specific dollar or year proposals" out to any "high-profile Major League free agents." Baltimore is still looking to round out its bullpen, but it isn't likely to do so by adding any big contracts.
The Orioles are more or less set in the starting rotation, but manager Dave Trembley would like to see them add one experienced veteran to round out his youth-laden pitching contingent. Baltimore also has a glaring hole in center field and questions about the playing-time rotation at both infield corners and left field.
Deals done: The Orioles signed Guillermo Quiroz to be their backup catcher on Monday, but they weren't able to reach agreement on any trades for their assorted veterans for hire. Baltimore spent the vast majority of its time at the Meetings trying to reach a deal to add some young position players, and it may still be able to get something done over the next few weeks.
Rule 5 activity: Baltimore selected right-handed reliever Randor Bierd from Detroit, and it didn't lose anybody in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft. The Orioles also selected southpaw Ryan Rodriguez and first baseman Tim Brown in the Triple-A phase of the Draft and right-handed pitcher J.P. Martinez in the Double-A phase.
Goals accomplished: The Orioles sorted through several competing offers for Bedard, and they entertained talks for Tejada, catcher Ramon Hernandez and Roberts over the past few days. The team's executives believe they've narrowed down the field for which teams may make the most productive match, and they still have plenty of time to reach a deal.
Unfinished business: Baltimore may or may not decide to keep Bedard, but Tejada will likely be dealt sometime before Opening Day. And if he isn't, the Orioles may ask the four-time All-Star to move to third base next season. Baltimore is intent on pursuing a new direction, and it should be younger and less expensive by Opening Day.
GM's bottom line: "We've learned what we need to learn. We have a pretty good idea of who's who, a pretty good idea of what our options may be going forward. In that regard, it was worthwhile." -- MacPhail, talking about the past four days in Nashville and his team's plans moving forward
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.