NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Nationals may be located just 35 miles from the Orioles, but that distance along the Baltimore-Washington Parkway might as well be a chasm that can't be crossed when it comes to trade talks between the neighboring teams.
The Nationals haven't made a deal with the Orioles since arriving in D.C. from Montreal before the 2005 season. The last deal of substance between the clubs came on March 13, 1996, when the Expos shipped outfielder Tony Tarasco - now the Nats' first base coach - to the Orioles in exchange for outfielder Sherman Obando.
Rumors today that the Orioles may be talking with the Nationals about first baseman/outfielder Michael Morse - later dispelled by Washington general manager Mike Rizzo - seemed to suggest a thaw in the long-icy relationship between the competing front offices.
But to hear Rizzo tell it, the fact that the two teams haven't partnered on a deal is merely a baseball coincidence.
"If there was a deal that made sense for both of us, I'm sure we could come to some type of an agreement," Rizzo said. "If it would help our club, impact us positively, make us a better club in '13 than we were in '12, we'd certainly be open to it."