Who were you expecting, Prince Fielder?
It’s a slow morning for me, mostly because I don’t have to prep for “The Mid-Atlantic Sports Report.”
I no longer need to know that the Capitals’ Nicklas Backstrom, their leading scorer with 42 points - including three assists in Tuesday’s 3-1 win over Calgary - is day-to-day after being elbowed in the head by the Flames’ Rene Bourque. I no longer need to know that New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees and Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford, who meet Saturday night in the NFC playoffs, have combined for 10,514 yards and 87 touchdowns. I no longer need to know that the Redskins averaged 18 points per game this season, which ranked 26th in the NFL. I no longer need to know that the Wizards were trying to avoid the worst start in franchise history last night (0-6) against the Magic, who had won 14 of the last 17 games in the series and were unbeaten at home this season. I no longer need to know that the Maryland men’s basketball team jumped out to a 16-0 lead against Cornell Tuesday night, led 41-26 at halftime and began the second half 0-for-9 with six turnovers before hanging on for a 70-62 victory that made them 10-3 heading into ACC play.
I could also pass along some tidbits about the Ravens and Nationals, but you get the idea.
Anyway, Adam Jones is still an Oriole, and he’ll remain one unless a team is willing to give up a lot for him. That’s been the case all along.
Executive vice president Dan Duquette isn’t actively shopping him. But he recognizes that Jones is a prime trade chip, and more expendable than the largely untouchable Matt Wieters. He’ll certainly listen to offers and counter with one that’s more to his liking.
If he’s turned down, so be it. This isn’t a garage sale. He’ll gladly hold onto Jones if he can’t get enough pitching in return.
The Braves inquired about Jones. Duquette wanted more than starter Jair Jurrjens and infielder/outfielder Martin Prado, who could replace Brian Roberts at second base. He wanted a couple of their high-ceiling young pitchers. Why wouldn’t he?
Apparently, the Braves don’t want Jones badly enough to dip into a collection of arms that includes Brandon Beachy, Mike Minor, Randall Delgado, Arodys Vizcaino and Julio Teheran.
(Must be nice to have that many young pitchers on the 40-man roster who make executives nervous and sweaty. And I didn’t even mention Tommy Hanson.)
Beachy, 25, was 7-3 with a 3.68 ERA in 25 starts with the Braves last season. Minor, 24, was 5-3 with a 4.14 ERA in 15 starts. Delgado, 21, was 1-1 with a 2.83 ERA in seven starts. Vizcaino, 21, was 1-1 with a 4.67 ERA in 17 relief appearances. Teheran, who turns 21 on Jan. 27, was 1-1 with a 5.03 ERA in five games (three starts).
Delgado was 5-5 with a 3.84 ERA and 110 strikeouts in 117 1/3 innings in 21 Double-A starts. Vizcaino went a combined 5-5 with a 3.06 ERA and 100 strikeouts in 97 innings at three levels. Teheran was 15-3 with a 2.55 ERA and 122 strikeouts in 144 2/3 innings in 25 games (24 starts) at Triple-A.
I’m not real comfortable with trading Jones and leaving that gaping hole in center field, but if you offer me two of those arms along with Jurrjens and Prado ... well, it’s real hard to walk away.
It’s a moot point. The Braves are walking away.
Are the talks dead between the two sides? Not from what I’ve heard. Are they heating up? You couldn’t harden a yolk with them right now.
As I write that sentence, I’m waiting for the next tweet from an insider claiming that the talks are hot again. It’s going to keep playing out that way. The Braves have Prado and pitching. The Orioles have certain needs.
The Orioles also have Jones this morning.
You don’t have to be an insider to know that much.