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Zrebiec On Bedard, Roberts

The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec was recently named Rumor Royalty for the Orioles.  Here's the last in a series of questions we asked him.

MLBTR: Erik Bedard and Brian Roberts are elite players under team control through 2009. If you had to guess, will both be playing for the Orioles on Opening Day 2008?

Zrebiec: Yes, I would guess that both will be Orioles on Opening Day. I've been surprised about the lack of trade buzz surrounding Roberts. I can't help but think that it is because O's owner Peter Angelos has already nixed one deal involving Roberts last year and has made his fondness for the second baseman known. I just think Roberts means more to the Orioles than he would to any other team and I don't see MacPhail moving him unless he's totally overwhelmed. And even then, good luck convincing Angelos to sign off on the deal.

Bedard is a little trickier. MacPhail and Mark Pieper, Bedard and Roberts' agent, have been talking "conceptually" about an contract extension for Bedard. I think people in the organization are split on whether they should secure long term the team's first legit ace since Mike Mussina or trade him and get multiple major league ready young players in return to a roster that is badly in need of them. If Bedard's contract demands aren't reasonable, that could make their decision for them. But even if that's the case, I don't see the O's in a hurry to do anything since Bedard is still under contractual control for two more seasons.


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