Two club sources said Tuesday that the Orioles will not accept the Boston Red Sox’s offer of All-Star outfielder Manny Ramirez, pitcher Matt Clement and cash for disgruntled shortstop Miguel Tejada. While it still is possible that Tejada will land in Boston, it is clear that Orioles officials are looking for the Red Sox to sweeten the deal.
Speculation about the trade, which has been discussed for nearly a month since Tejada publicly requested a change of scenery, has heated up the past two days after free-agent outfielder Jeromy Burnitz, who had verbally agreed to a two-year, $12 million deal with the Orioles, broke off talks with the club and decided to sign elsewhere.
Burnitz’s decision leaves the Orioles without a left fielder. They contacted the agent of free-agent outfielder Richard Hidalgo Tuesday, but the talks were general. Hidalgo, 30, a close friend of Orioles third baseman Melvin Mora’s, hit .221 last season with 16 homers and 43 RBIs in 88 games for Texas.
And there still is a possibility that the Orioles will wind up with Ramirez, though several obstacles remain, starting with the Orioles’ asking price for Tejada. The Orioles apparently would prefer getting one of the Red Sox’s young pitchers, Jon Lester or Jon Papelbon, but both are believed to be untouchable.
“The parameters from the very beginning is that we have to feel that we are getting fair value in return,” said Orioles executive vice president Mike Flanagan Tuesday, not commenting specifically on any deal. The Red Sox, Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs appear to be the leaders in the Tejada sweepstakes.
Former Mets backstop Jason Phillips (above) has signed a minor league contract with Toronto.