The madness continues

I'd be amused if I wasn't so tired.

It's officially Day 2 of baseball's Winter Meetings, and I counted five laptops already set up in the media workroom by 8 a.m. I would have ridiculed the reporters who arrived that early, but I was sitting inside the media workroom at 8 a.m.

People who live in glass houses...

The rumor mill keeps churning, and the national reporters, bloggers and tweeters keep racing each other for scoops. We counted at least three erroneous trade reports yesterday. Unfortunately, it's no longer a requirement to gather all the facts before filing. Just get something on the street and wait for your name to pop up on mlbtraderumors.

The times they are a-changin'.

President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail kept lowering expectations for these meetings, but he clearly had a little something up his sleeve.

Kevin-Millwood.jpg

The Kevin Millwood talks heated up once he arrived in Indianapolis, but the groundwork was laid a few weeks ago. This didn't happen by accident. He just wasn't sure how quickly it would develop until sitting down for face-to-face negotiations with the Rangers.

I'm not a huge fan of Millwood, but if you're only on the hook for one season and the Rangers are eating part of that $12 million contract, he gains a lot of appeal.

And he can be obtained without giving up one of the top young pitchers in the system.

By the way, the Mets reportedly are also interested in Millwood.

MacPhail wouldn't confirm yesterday that the Orioles made substantial progress in any talks, but again, he's playing it close to the vest.

Asked if there's a chance he could make a trade and sign a free agent before returning to Baltimore, MacPhail said, "Yeah. And there's a chance we won't do either."

Gotcha.

I'd like to determine later today whether the Orioles retain interest in Braves reliever Rafael Soriano after he accepted arbitration, or whether they'll look elsewhere for a closer. Soriano would have to give his written permission to be traded before June 15, and general manager Frank Wren wants to move him.

The Braves are one of the few teams out there that isn't begging for young starting pitching. They'd rather acquire a hitter.

I wonder if the Orioles could offer the Scott who hit .305 with 18 homers in the first half, instead of the one who hit .208 with seven homers in the second. Then again, they'd like to keep that guy and unload the other.

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