From the Baltimore Sun today:
Source: Trade for Burnett near
Julio, Penn, Bigbie would go to Marlins for 3 players; deal could come today
By Roch Kubatko
July 18, 2005
SEATTLE - The Orioles boarded their charter for Minnesota yesterday with the same roster as the one they took to the West Coast, but an industry source said it could change quickly.
According to the source, a trade between the Orioles and Florida Marlins involving Marlins starter A.J. Burnett and Orioles reliever Jorge Julio is almost complete. The source expected an announcement to come today, saying the two sides have made significant progress, but a team official said it is doubtful it would happen that soon.
The trade would send Burnett, third baseman Mike Lowell and perhaps minor league outfielder Eric Reed to the Orioles for Julio, outfielder Larry Bigbie and top pitching prospect Hayden Penn.
The team official said talks have run "hot and cold." The Orioles' willingness to take Lowell might have pushed them ahead of the Boston Red Sox, who are offering pitcher Bronson Arroyo and prospects.
Lowell's production has taken a sharp decline, and he's slated to make $18 million over the next two seasons.
According to an Orioles source, there's some debate among team officials over the wisdom of acquiring Lowell and whether he can pull out of a season-long slump. But the Orioles seem open to it if they can reel in Burnett, whose next start is scheduled for tomorrow.
Because Burnett can become a free agent after the season, the Orioles would want to sign him to an extension rather than risk losing him over the winter. But they appear willing to modify the trade package if Burnett's status doesn't change, giving up less to add him to their rotation.
Burnett is 5-6 with a 3.64 ERA. He allowed six runs in five innings of Thursday's start against the Philadelphia Phillies, including three homers in the second inning.
Julio pitched a scoreless inning Friday, stranding two runners, but it came in the seventh. Chris Ray followed him into the game, and manager Lee Mazzilli used the rookie with the score tied in the eighth and ninth Saturday.
Julio has become more expendable with Jason Grimsley activated from the 60-day disabled list. Though Julio hasn't allowed a run in four straight appearances, his ERA is 10.45 over his past 13 games.
Penn is 0-1 with a 6.99 ERA since returning to Double-A Bowie. He allowed five runs in 4 1/3 innings against New Britain on July 10.