I can see a light at the end of the non-waiver trade deadline tunnel.
It's not Jon Lester on an oncoming train.
I got the impression early on that executive vice president Dan Duquette was focused more on bullpen help, and that seems to be the case. I'd rank it No. 1 on the list.
Specifically, Duquette would like to bring in a left-hander who isn't primarily a specialist. If he wanted one of those, he could purchase Clay Rapada's contract from Triple-A Norfolk.
I'll wonder again how the Orioles can make room for another reliever unless they send one packing in the deal. There aren't many optionable pieces and they seem to prefer keeping Brad Brach and T.J. McFarland as multi-inning guys.
The catcher talk seems to have cooled off. Name an available offensive upgrade who's also a plus defender.
Caleb Joseph has thrown out 16 of 32 runners attempting to steal this season. Worth a mention.
The Orioles were in hot pursuit of Cubs infielder Emilio Bonifacio, so they're still trying to land a second baseman - Bonifacio can move all over the place - who's regarded as an offensive upgrade.
As for the Lester rumors, I've been told by multiple sources that the Red Sox kept asking for Kevin Gausman or Dylan Bundy. Not happening. So in that regard, the two sides were never really close to a deal. I've heard that from people who are in the loop.
The teams talked again yesterday and it's interesting that Duquette appeared to make another run at Lester after insisting that he was focused more on pitching depth. He repeated the desire for depth yesterday, saying that nothing has changed, but as long as Lester lingered on the market, he was worth another phone call.
Bottom line: The Orioles and Red Sox weren't on the verge of making a trade. And the next team that asks for Gausman should be forced to run laps around Sidney Ponson.
The Orioles weren't going to surrender a top pitching prospect for a two-month rental. They felt that way before Hunter Harvey was shut down and nothing changed.
I'll close this entry by again giving mad props to Darren O'Day, who deserves to receive some votes for Most Valuable Oriole. The guy has allowed one run in his last 17 appearances for a 0.47 ERA over 19 1/3 innings. He's walked three and struck out 23 in that span.
O'Day has registered a 0.63 ERA in 42 2/3 innings at night, with 11 walks and 45 strikeouts.
Who wants to print the T-shirt?