Monday, January 28, 2008
Source: Angelos yet to greenlight proposed Bedard trade
By Jayson Stark ESPN.com
Orioles owner Peter Angelos hasn't yet signed off on the proposed deal that would send Erik Bedard to Seattle, according to a source familiar with the Orioles' internal discussions.
The same source also indicated that Angelos wasn't informed of the particulars of this latest proposal until late Sunday and that he won't be available Monday to confer with the Orioles' baseball officials because of a personal matter.
Given Angelos' long history of vetoing trades, one baseball man who has dealt extensively with Angelos predicted that "this could get more interesting as it goes along" if Angelos has yet to approve this deal.
Indications are that the trade is still likely to happen, given the abrupt departure of its centerpiece, Mariners outfielder Adam Jones, from winter ball. But the source confirmed a Baltimore Sun report that Jones isn't currently scheduled to fly to Baltimore for a physical.
Both Jones and Mariners relief pitcher George Sherrill have informed teammates that they have been asked to take physicals in conjunction with the trade, a baseball source told ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick. It is not known when those physicals will take place.
Erik Bedard was good in his first 14 starts of 2007 but he was absolutely great in his second 14 starts.
First 14 starts
H per 9
K per 9
On Sunday night, Jones went so far as to say he welcomed what he assumed was a finalized trade to Baltimore.
"I feel comfortable in Seattle," Jones told Ignacio Serrano of ESPNdeportes.com, "but I will assume my trade to Baltimore as another challenge. I'm in the best moment of my life, although it will be strange to start with a new organization again."
Jones, Sherrill, minor league pitcher Chris Tillman and a fourth undisclosed prospect are believed to make up the package of players the Orioles desire in return for the 28-year-old Bedard, who was 13-5 last season with a 3.16 ERA and 221 strikeouts, third in the AL, for a 93-loss team.
Tillman, who turns 20 in April, was Seattle's second-round pick in the 2006 draft. Baseball America ranks him as the organization's No. 3 prospect.
Bedard's agent, Mark Pieper, didn't immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.
If the Mariners trade Jones, one of their chief options to fill that vacancy is Luis Gonzalez.
Two baseball sources who have spoken to the Mariners say Seattle has been in contact with Gonzalez's agent, Greg Clifton, and has indicated that if the Bedard trade happens, the Mariners are "very interested" in Gonzalez.
Clifton declined comment on which clubs have pursued Gonzalez. However, indications are that Florida also has interest in Gonzalez as a veteran mentor for its young players.
Also high on Seattle's list if the Bedard trade goes down is former Rangers and Nationals outfielder-first baseman Brad Wilkerson.
Wilkerson has a one-year offer on the table from Boston to be a left-handed bat off the bench, but he's told friends that he wants to wait until the Seattle situation plays out in the event the Mariners are looking for a full-time right fielder.
Wilkerson, 30, hit .234 with 20 homers in 119 games with Texas last season. He made $4.35 million for the Rangers, and it's believed he's looking for a similar deal with his next club.
Boston has offered Wilkerson a one-year, $2 million deal plus incentives to back up at first base and the outfield.
Jayson Stark is a senior writer for ESPN.com. Jerry Crasnick covers Major League Baseball for ESPN Insider.