As the deadline approaches ...

I’m getting ready to make the drive to Camden Yards, which should ensure that news breaks while I’m behind the wheel. The only question is whether it happens while I’m on Rt. 32, 70, 695 or 95.

Take your pick.

As far as we know, left-hander Erik Bedard remains the scheduled starter tonight for the Astros, but Bud Norris will take his place if the right-hander isn’t traded.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter has made out at least two lineups. He’s ready for anything.

An industry source said the Orioles’ focus is “definitely” on Norris and they’re “still in,” which means they’re still attempting to lower the Astros’ demands. It may become easier in the final hour, though the Astros certainly could choose to hold onto him.

Might get a little awkward in the clubhouse, though.

The Orioles retain interest in Angels left-hander Jason Vargas, but they don’t have a clear read on his health, according to a source, and are hesitant to make a trade at this point.

The pursuit of a right-handed bat also continues, and they’re talking to the Mariners about first baseman Michael Morse. Their interest in him was lukewarm at best over the winter - despite the Nationals’ willingness to engage in talks - because of his rental status and concerns over his durability.

Morse is still slated to become a free agent after the season. He’s still a health risk, having appeared in only 57 games and going on the disabled list with a strained quadriceps. But he’d fill a need at the right price.

The deadline dance continues, with all the rumors and conflicting reports. Feel free to hang by the punch bowl if it’s too much for you.

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