I wish I could say to you with certainty that the Erik Bedard/Adam Jones-plus trade will be finalized tonight, but I can’t just yet. Sorry, that will have to do. I’m not going to piggyback on the MLB.com rumors. Here’s what I do know for now:
1. Those crazy rumors out of Baltimore yesterday that Adam Jones has a degenerative hip condition? Toss them out the window. Not a touch of truth to it. Both sides are laughing that one off emphatically. Yes, Jones was being brought in for a physical. But it wasn’t for a serious type of injury or anything that would be a deal-breaker. So, there’s nothing on that front that would impede a trade.
2. I haven’t been able to get a hold of George Sherrill so far today. (UPDATE: 2:05 p.m.) Cancel that. Within minutes of posting this entry, Sherrill called me back. He left Utah last night to begin his drive to Peoria for spring training. He’s stopped over at a relative’s house in Mesquite, Nevada — about a five-hour drive from the training complex. (At least he should be able to find plenty of briquettes for a BBQ in today’s location). Sherrill says he left last night instead of today because a huge snowstorm is headed for Utah. He says he hasn’t heard anything more on the trade being done. His plan now is to arrive in Arizona tomorrow and then catch a plane to Baltimore if he has to. He figures this was the best move, in any event, since the snowstorm in Utah might have prevented him from flying any place else. So, there you have it. Sherrill is staying put for now.
3. What held this deal up? I heard on Sunday night, within moments of his being told, that Orioles owner Peter Angelos was furious to learn that news of the impending deal had broken. He was about to head into the hospital for a minor procedure the next day and could not believe Adam Jones had spilled the beans. Would it be beyond Angelos to hold things up another 48, or 72 hours before giving his go-ahead and making everyone sweat a little? Nope.
4. Do I give credence do the “other teams” jumping into the fray theory? No, I do not. The Orioles had a deal with the Mariners they were quite happy with — happy enough that the Mariners pulled Jones off the field and told him to head to Baltimore for a physical so he could be the deal’s main component. Any further discussion was going to be over minor details of the back-end guys being included in the package. Baltimore won’t get a better deal than this one now. Not after yesterday’s Johan Santana trade. One top prospect is the most they can hope for and they have a good one heading over in Jones. And it doesn’t matter that, as some of you point out, Jones is not technically a “prospect” but a starting right fielder. In the eyes of those doing the dealing and making comparisons around the game, he’ll be viewed as a top prospect against the top prospects of other clubs. Got it? So, unless the Reds suddenly have a change of heart and throw in Jay Bruce, very unlikely at this stage, Seattle is the O’s best bet. Not some ficticious other clubs.
That’s it for right now. A reminder to all: RSVP spots are still filling up for next week’s big blog event on Feb. 7 (thank Maui Mariner for pointing out the typo) at 6:30 p.m. in our newspaper’s auditorium. Also, be sure to copy your comment submissions before you try posting. That was, if our computer system loses your text, you won’t blow a gasket like I nearly did the other night when 90 minutes worth of work went up in smoke.