They got the hitter they wanted (Bobby Bonilla) and added a durable starter (Scott Erickson) to their pitching staff, but the Orioles haven't been able to solve a problem that has dogged them since the start of the season.
The real discouraging news is that there is no sign of a resolution before the year is over.
Everyone has acknowledged the lack of consistency with which a contender is usually identified. But that other "C" word also comes into prominent play.
With only 54 games left, the Orioles lineup has even less continuity now than it did at the season's start -- when the club opened with almost a 60 percent turnover in playing personnel. As has been noted before, that exchange rate is even heavier than the one available at the Canadian border.
What has happened since has done little to erase the notion that the Orioles remain a team of strangers. In recent days, none of the outfielders (Kevin Bass in left, Brady Anderson in center and Bonilla in right) has played the position with which he's been most familiar this year.
None of the three has been in totally strange positions, but the movements made necessary by injuries and slumps are a distraction, at the very least. Anderson is an excellent outfielder -- in left or center -- but a couple of balls that appeared catchable avoided him Thursday night -- in a game that ended with a six-run, 10th-inning debacle in an 8-2 loss to the Blue Jays.
At second and third base, the Orioles had reverted to their original starting cast until Leo Gomez injured his ankle. Jeff Manto virtually had split the time at third base -- until his hamstring injury put Jeff Huson into an already crowded picture.
The situation at second base has been much the same, with Bret Barberie giving way to Manny Alexander and then reclaiming his job. Add the catcher's spot, where Chris Hoiles struggled first with a prolonged slump and then with the seemingly contagious hamstring injury, and you are left with two stable positions. Except for Cal Ripken and Rafael Palmeiro holding fort at shortstop and first base, there hasn't been a whole lot of familiarity with the Orioles lineup.
Whether that will change in the near future remains to be seen. But it does emphasize that the addition of Bonilla, even as nicely as he fits into the middle of the lineup, and Erickson, who has been an inning saver with Ben McDonald sidelined, brought no guarantees.
The Orioles still need the rest of their parts to be in working order if they are going to mount a challenge in the American League's East Division. They need a productive Hoiles, a healthy Jeffrey Hammonds, a recharged Curtis Goodwin and somebody to take control at third base the way Barberie seemingly has done at second.
And it goes without saying that the Orioles also need continued improvement (such as an effective return by McDonald) from their pitching staff. The key to the desired consistency is continuity.