In an effort to rebuild an organization that has endured 10 straight losing seasons, Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail has been actively seeking to trade Bedard for prospects. He appears close to working out a deal with the Mariners, but insisted Monday that a trade was not necessarily imminent.
"There really is no change. We are still having discussions, but we don't have an agreement," MacPhail said.
MacPhail said he didn't expect that to change "over the next few days," but added, "anything can happen."
The Mariners have asked center fielder Adam Jones to leave his Venezuelan Winter League team and return to the United States. Jones, one of Seattle's top prospects, is supposedly the main player targeted by Baltimore in the trade.
The Seattle Times reported that Jones was returning to take a physical in Baltimore. Mariners spokesman Tim Hevly confirmed that Jones was asked to return, but did not give a reason for the request.
Bedard went 13-5 last season with a 3.16 ERA and 221 strikeouts, third in the AL. He is currently scheduled for an arbitration hearing next month; the 28-year-old is asking for $8 million next season and Baltimore countered at $6 million.
Jones, who will turn 23 this summer, hit .246 in 41 games last year.
There is plenty of speculation about the other players involved in the potential deal. Relief pitcher George Sherrill has been mentioned in some reports, especially because the Orioles need a closer to replace injured Chris Ray.