FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- The Orioles are eager to talk to the Philadelphia Phillies about pitcher Curt Schilling, but assistant general manager Kevin Malone said yesterday that the club still is being told that the veteran right-hander is not on the trade block.
"He's not available," Malone said. "Yes, we would have interest if he was available, but so far he's not."
Schilling broke off negotiations with the Phillies on Monday after agent Jeff Borris and Phillies officials could not bridge a $6 million gap between their proposals on a three-year contract extension.
That prompted speculation that Schilling would be traded to the Orioles or Cleveland Indians, but general manager Lee Thomas has not given up on re-signing him.
Malone also said yesterday that there was nothing new to report on the club's attempt to acquire the rights to Japanese pitcher Hideki Irabu, who was set to return to Japan today and go into voluntary retirement rather than pitch for the San Diego Padres.
"We're still waiting to hear back from them [the Padres]," Malone said.
The Orioles must obtain the rights to Irabu just to begin contract negotiations with Irabu's agent, Don Nomura. Then the club would have to meet Irabu's contract demands, which are expected to be in the range of $10 million to $15 million for three years.
Pub Date: 3/19/97