Trade talk getting louder for Tejada as deadline nears

July 29, 2006|By DAN CONNOLLY | DAN CONNOLLY,SUN REPORTER

The Orioles still contend that they aren't shopping Miguel Tejada, but they are listening to offers and one club source acknowledged that the front office received calls from "multiple teams" yesterday about the star shortstop.

Among those who continue to show interest are the Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros, Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers, the source confirmed. The Chicago White Sox, who were at Camden Yards last night, and the Minnesota Twins have not recently discussed acquiring Tejada, the source said.

The Angels, who are a half game ahead of the Oakland Athletics in the American League West, are still considered favorites in the potential Tejada sweepstakes because of their wealth of prospects.

However, a potential deal with Los Angeles may be complicated because of injuries to the Angels' rotation and the Orioles' insistence on receiving a top-tier starter in return.

In fact, one club source said the team's demands for a quality major league pitcher and two other above-average players or prospects have not changed and will not change.

"[An offer] would have to be really extraordinary," the source said, for the Orioles to part with Tejada, who leads the team in home runs, RBIs and batting average.

It is more likely, the source said, that Tejada would be dealt in this or perhaps the next offseason, but even then the trade demands wouldn't change. After signing a six-year, $72 million deal in December 2003, he is committed to the Orioles through 2009.

With the Milwaukee Brewers trading Carlos Lee to the Rangers yesterday, Tejada, the Washington Nationals' Alfonso Soriano and Philadelphia Phillies' Bobby Abreu are the highest-profile sluggers potentially available before Monday's non-waiver trade deadline. Of the three, only Soriano is a free agent at season's end.

Because of their stocked farm system, the Angels have been the most-discussed landing spot for Tejada. In return, the Orioles reportedly want either shortstop prospect Brandon Wood or rookie second baseman Howie Kendrick and a major league pitcher - likely 23-year-old right-hander Ervin Santana - and possibly another player.

But it's unlikely the Angels would deal Santana, (11-4, 4.25 ERA) especially with their rotation in flux. Reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Bartolo Colon left his last start with elbow pain and could be headed back to the disabled list, and Kelvim Escobar is pitching in pain.

However, Foxsports.com has reported that the Angels offered Santana and Triple-A shortstop Erick Aybar for Tejada and one Angels source would not confirm nor deny the report according to the Los Angeles Times.

The front office also had discussions with various teams yesterday about first baseman Jeff Conine, starter Rodrigo Lopez and reliever LaTroy Hawkins. Hawkins and Conine are both free agents; Lopez has one year left in arbitration. There continues to be no interest in catcher Javy Lopez, who also is a free agent.

The St. Louis Cardinals, Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds have been rumored to be potential suitors for Conine, and another possible fit are the New York Yankees, who reportedly are looking for a right-handed first baseman.

No deals are imminent, but the source added that the front office is still hopeful it can find matches by 4 p.m. Monday.

dan.connolly@baltsun.com

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.