What trade? O's deny Anderson-Viola deal report Red Sox official: Nothing brewing

June 10, 1993|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Staff Writer

Frank Viola will be pitching tonight -- but it will be against, no for, the Orioles.

A report in the Providence (R.I.) Journal-Bulletin yesterday had the Orioles and Boston Red Sox talking about a possible trade of outfielder Brady Anderson for Viola.

But both sides immediately denied the rumored deal.

"I don't know how these things get started," said Orioles general manager Roland Hemond. "And I'm going to be in Boston with the club this weekend, so that'll probably only add to it."

In Boston, assistant general manager Mike Port said he was unaware of any talks between the two teams.

"It's news to me," said Port. "Yesterday, it was Otis Nixon, the JTC day before, Thomas Howard [as possible acquisitions]."

Anderson came to the Orioles in 1988 along with pitcher Curt Schilling in a trade that sent right-hander Mike Boddicker to the Red Sox.

Viola signed as a free agent with Boston last year for a reported $16 million for four years.

"It's absolutely ridiculous," Orioles assistant GM Frank Robinson said of the Anderson-Viola rumors.

Neither player is having a particularly good year so far. Anderson, who batted .271 a year ago, is hitting .212 and Viola has a 4-5 record with a 3.24 ERA.

The rumor apparently got its impetus from the fact that the Red Sox are the only team in the American League to score fewer runs (225) than the Orioles (232).

The Red Sox also are looking for a good defensive outfielder who can hit leadoff.

But the Orioles, who ranked second in the AL with a 3.81 earned run average (behind Boston's 3.35) before last night, are likewise interested in improving their offense.

And it's hardly likely they'd be willing to assume Viola's contract, which pays him $4.5 million this year and $4 million in 1994.

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