UPDATE, 1-21-08 at 6:39pm: According to Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald, "informed insiders say no renewed talks are underway" for a Cubs/Orioles blockbuster. Miles does believe Hendry is shopping Murton and interested in Byrd.
UPDATE, 1-21-08 at 4:37pm: John Hickey of the Seattle PI notes that the Mariners seem to "very much want Bedard" still. He sees the Mets as their main competition.
FROM 1-21-08 at 3:09pm:
Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune insists that Orioles owner Peter Angelos did shoot down some kind of Erik Bedard/Brian Roberts to the Cubs blockbuster last week. Furthermore, Rogers’ source says the talks are now back on.
Rogers speculates that "frustration and gamesmanship" might be why Lou Piniella and Jim Hendry recently denied the blockbuster rumor. Hendry was quoted as saying "that certainly hasn’t been a path we’ve been on."
Rogers also has sources saying the Cubs may have to give up Matt Murton and one or two other players to get Marlon Byrd from Texas (perhaps Sean Gallagher). He speculates that a three-team deal with the Rangers and Orioles to net the Cubs Bedard, Roberts, and Byrd is a possibility. Felix Pie would have to be in that mix, and note that Roch Kubatko said yesterday that the Cubs "would be willing to part with Rich Hill" to get Bedard and Roberts.
Through all of this Rogers says it’s a "very highly placed source" and that he trusts the source. It’s hard for me to really evaluate this stuff until we get more clarity. But feel free to discuss.