Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Jim Williams: O’s on the trade market: What’s the deal?

(Aug 8, 2006 5:00 AM (1 day ago)
Current rank: # 5 of 8,306 articles

BALTIMORE - The Orioles were one of the most active teams in baseball during the trading period last week, but when the clock struck 4 p.m. at the non-waiver trade deadline last Monday, they had made no deals.

Shortstop Miguel Tejada was clearly one of the top prizes of the trade season, and for a week, his name came up often in some potential blockbuster deals. Yet, he is still in an Orioles uniform. In fact, the only move the Orioles made was to ship disgruntled catcher Javy Lopez to the Red Sox late last week.

I spoke to ESPN’s Steve Phillips, himself a former general manager for the Mets, to get some insight as to why Baltimore did not make a trade.

Jim Williams: There were at least four deals that seemed to be good deals for the Birds. Why did nothing happen?

Steve Phillips: Let’s start with Houston. They were willing to trade a Cy Young-quality pitcher in Roy Oswalt, a solid young shortstop, Adam Everett, and a stud third baseman, Morgan Ensberg, to the O’s for Tejada. I am telling you, that’s a trade that would have improved the Orioles for years to come and a trade that most teams would have made in a heartbeat. I have no idea why Baltimore passed that deal up. I mean, you need starting pitching, and Oswalt would be the No. 1 guy on the Orioles right now, and if you do not want to sign him long-term after his contract is up in 2007, you can trade him for some quality young talent. That is a deal that should have been done.

JW: What about the Angels?

SP: The Angels offered Ervin Santana, a young arm that is perfect fit for Baltimore. Plus, shortstop prospect Erick Aybar looks like a real can’t-miss kid. Again, I have no idea why the Orioles passed that one either. It did not make sense. Either the Astros or Angels deal, seems to me, would have been great deals, and either could have improved the Orioles.

JW: Why is it so tough to make a deal with Baltimore?

SP: Time. You really have to be patient, and they want medical information on everyone. Other teams make decisions quickly, or at least you know where they stand. But my guess is it’s the owner killing deals more than the baseball people killing the deals. To be a winner, you have to trust your baseball people, and I am not sure Peter Angelos does.

Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer. You can e-mail Jim at

No comments: