Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail spoke by conference call with reporters about the trade deadline yesterday evening.
He indicated he got plenty of calls about Jeremy Guthrie, but needed pitching back to part with the right-hander. He also revealed that a player like Adam Jones could have brought a good haul in return, but he was not willing to part with Jones right now.
Here is a transcript of some of his comments.
What was Sunday and the deadline like for you, was there much activity?
“It was pretty quiet today (Sunday), which was to be expected. Those things that we had come in with the idea of doing, is what we were able to accomplish. We were very judicious about other pitching that we would move knowing there is always going to be a market for that type of pitching and knowing that we need to collect as much of that as we possibly can and it is going to be a progressively harder thing to get outside your system.”
Did you come close to trading Jeremy Guthrie?
“I had no shortage of interest. One of the elements for us to consider moving a talent like Jeremy was we had to feel like we would get pitching back and that is a tall order for some clubs. They are reluctant to part with it. We probably could have gotten reasonable talent back, but not as much back in the pitching category that we need to have to satisfy.”
How did the Derrick Lee trade unfold?
“The Derrick Lee trade was a function of the earlier trade for Chris Davis, who we think just needs an opportunity to play on a regular basis to try to ascertain if he can be as much as we’ve seen flashes of in his career before. To give him that opportunity, we needed to clean the space for him. We thought Chris’ best position was first. Derrick is 35 and could help a pennant-contending team now.
We had been talking to Pittsburgh and we had two different scenarios. One was if you want him and we don’t get a first baseman back, then the price has to be X because we’re going to have to make a trade that makes sense for us. Because we don’t have the ready replacement in hand right now that we’re comfortable giving two months work to at the major league level.
“Scenario two is we do get a first baseman back and our primary objective now is to clear the payroll and space. It was clear to me that if it had been scenario one, we probably would have kept Derrick, because I wasn’t going to extract back the kind of talent that I thought I was going to have to have. But once the Texas deal was doable, we explored scenario two back and got back a good minor league hitter.”
Were there any other players you came close to trading?
“There was no shortage of interest in a variety of our guys. But we made the judgement, right or wrong, that we just wouldn’t be in the market at this time for moving, for example, I’ll give you one example of several, in Adam Jones.
“I’m sure had we put him on the market, he could have brought us back a good haul, but we didn’t see the wisdom in exploring that option at the present time.
“We had several of those. Actually with both players we acquired from Texas, we had subsequent calls from other clubs that had been talking to them (Texas). That didn’t appeal to us, because we had a need for them here and wanted to see them perform in our uniform this season.
“That was gratifying that you immediately had some positive feedback from others clubs wanting those same players.”