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"Sources:Trade close for Marlins' Burnett, Lowell"


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Sources: Trade close for Marlins' Burnett, Lowell

O?s, Pirates may figure into deal


By Juan C. Rodriguez

Staff Writer


PHOENIX -- A.J. Burnett and Mike Lowell put on their Marlins uniforms Monday unsure if they were doing so for the last time.


Once thought to be bounce for Baltimore as a package deal, it appears the two will head to distinct destinations. According to published reports, the Pirates entered the fray and apparently are set to take Mike Lowell and cash from the Marlins along with either Orioles outfielder Admin Bigbie or pitching prospect Hayden Penn.


The Orioles would end up with Burnett and Pirates first baseman Daryle Ward. Reliever Jorge Julio would come to Florida along with either Bigbie or Penn.


The deal also would reunite the Marlins with a familiar face. Left-hander Mark Redman would fill Burnett's spot in the rotation.


"The Marlins know him and he knows the Marlins," one National League source said. "He would be a decent fit. He helped the Marlins run down a wild card and win a World Series. He's somebody you believe in."


According to the Baltimore Sun, the Orioles will request a 72-hour negotiating window to try and work out an extension with Burnett, who's eligible for free agency at season's end. An unsuccessful bid may not preclude them from pushing the deal forward.


Over the last two seasons the Orioles have torpedoed agreements to acquire Derrek Lee and Tim Hudson because they were unable to sign either to an extension.


The Marlins' insistence on moving Lowell as part of a Burnett transaction took several teams out of the mix, including the Blue Jays. Lowell is due more just over $21 million through 2006.


Orioles general manager Jim Beattie told reporters Monday the club does not intend to move Melvin Mora from third, meaning Lowell would not be an ideal fit there.


Assuming they acquire Penn, the Marlins have no immediate plans to spin him off for a more veteran pitcher.


Until they receive definitive word, Lowell and Burnett are trying to keep the same approach. Burnett is scheduled to pitch tonight's game at Arizona. Lowell was in Monday's starting lineup.


"There's a possibility you can have two teams you could be focusing on in one day," Burnett said. "Just try and do things to take your mind off of it. Try and talk to people who don't really ponder on it all day. Just get away from it and try my hardest to think about these Diamondbacks hitters.


"I don't answer my phone. My phone's been ringing and ringing. When my agent calls and my wife calls and my mom and dad call [i pick up]. Everybody else?I don't have any answers for them. They know more than I do."


Juan C. Rodriguez can be reached at jcrodriguez@sun-sentinel.com.

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Guest Moneyball

Enlighten me...why do the Pirates want Lowell? What do they gain out of this?



Exactly. Just like the other trades. Why the hell do the Marlins need Bigbie and guys with ERA's over 5?

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We don't know the details of any deal right now, but if the Pirates pay even a little bit of Lowell's salary... and he returns to form, they have a Cheap All Star 3rd baseman for the next 3 years. Why not take a risk? They are losing Ward, in exchange for a guy who could have a Konerko-like turn around. I'd admire the Bucs for taking the risk.

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