Another 48 hours

The Orioles continue to engage in "active discussions" with other teams as the 4:00 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline approaches on Saturday, according to president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail, but nothing appears close to transpiring.

No deals are on the immediate horizon. It's obvious that teams are chasing impact pitchers and position players, and the Orioles represent a fallback option. What happens with the Orioles depends largely on what happens around them.

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That doesn't sound close to me, but we're only talking a few more days before the period ends where players don't have to pass through waivers.

"We've had a lot of ongoing discussions," MacPhail said. "We'll just have to see how it plays out over the next 48 hours."

I heard a beep on the other end of the phone, and MacPhail cut our conversation short to take another call.

Never let it be said that I interfere with club business.

There are still so many variables, even as the weekend approaches, which reminds me of the George Sherrill talks last summer.

The Phillies were interested in the Orioles' closer until they acquired starter Cliff Lee from the Indians. That trade took them out of the equation because of the players they surrendered to the Indians (Triple-A pitcher Carlos Carrasco, Single-A pitcher Jason Knapp, catcher Lou Marson and shortstop Jason Donald), and the Orioles eventually sent Sherrill to the Dodgers.

Third baseman Miguel Tejada has been linked to a handful of teams, including the Cardinals, Phillies, Padres and Yankees - the levels of interest varying. And you never quite know where the truth lies as the national media tweets information that contradicts its competitors.

Check out what's going on with Astros pitcher Roy Oswalt. One reporter tweets (there's that word again) that Phillies minor league first baseman Jonathan Singleton is involved in the deal. Another reporter tweets that Singleton isn't included.

Are the Yankees hot for Tejada, or just lukewarm? Are the Cardinals driving hard toward a deal for Tejada, or is there no traction?

Teams view the Orioles' available talent as Plan B types if they're forced to shift their focus in other directions. That takes us back to the variables. And some clubs are looking for executives who are desperate to dump salaries and willing to take lesser prospects in return.

Teams also are more aggressive in their pursuit of a pitcher like Oswalt, who wouldn't clear waivers next month. The Orioles could still move someone like Kevin Millwood in August, so Saturday's deadline won't necessarily end their chances of swinging a deal. It's just easier right now.

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