Saturday, July 19, 2008

If a Trading Chip, Aubrey Huff Resigned to Fate

As the once surprising Orioles slip deeper into last place, first baseman Aubrey Huff is resigned to his fate as a trading chip if that's what operations chief Andy MacPhail has in mind.

"We can't worry about what they may or may not do in the front office," Huff recently told Baltimore Sun columnist Peter Schmuck. "We've got to play baseball. If I get traded, I get traded."

Huff -- currently on pace to hit 30-40 homers -- is regarded as one of the more productive players the Orioles might be willing to trade before the July 31 non-waiver deadline. Most top playoff contenders' greatest needs, however, do not include first basemen, even if Huff has somewhat dubious experience at third base and the outfield.

Other Orioles speculatively regarded as being on the block include Kevin Millar, Jay Payton and especially left-handed closer George Sherrill. Brian Roberts has most assuredly been shopped, but likely will remain in Baltimore because of a probable high pricetag and costly contract.

The team hardly can afford to part with starting pitchers, though anyone may be available if the price is right.