Deal still needs Nevin's approval

Updated: July 23, 2005, 2:46 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The Baltimore Orioles on Saturday agreed to trade right-handed pitcher Sidney Ponson to San Diego for first baseman Phil Nevin.

Nevin has a limited no-trade clause and had yet to approve the deal, ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney reports, and according to Nevin's clause, he can veto a trade to the Orioles. Olney adds that it could be a few days before Nevin decides.

With Ponson acquired by the Padres, the Orioles' deal to acquire Florida Marlins right-hander A.J. Burnett has been shelved.

A three-way deal with the Orioles and Texas Rangers, which would have sent Burnett to Baltimore, was "killed" by the Orioles this weekend, a baseball man familiar with the deal told ESPN.com's Jayson Stark. So the Marlins are believed to have broken off talks with Baltimore, at least for now, and are back to focusing on offers by the Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays.

Florida, Baltimore and Texas had structured a complicated three-way trade that, theoretically, would have allowed the Orioles to assume most of the $21 million left on Mike Lowell's contract by jettisoning Ponson. Ponson has about $13 million remaining on his contract, which runs through 2006. But Baltimore and Florida would have assumed a large chunk of that, then traded Ponson to the Rangers, who would have picked up the rest. Texas also would have saved another $2 million by dealing Richard Hidalgo to Florida -- meaning the Rangers would have been getting Ponson for only about $3 million.

But that whole scenario became moot when Baltimore apparently decided A) it didn't want Lowell, B) couldn't be sure of signing Burnett and C) had a chance to trade Ponson to San Diego for Nevin in a joint salary dump.

Ponson was sent to San Diego once he refused a trade to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for left-handed reliever Trever Miller.

The Padres have a need for a starter because Adam Eaton (9-2 in 14 starts, 3.42 ERA) likely heading to the bullpen. Bothered by elbow pain, Eaton can't throw his curveball, relegating him as a fastball-changeup reliever.

Now the Marlins have to try to find a taker for third baseman Lowell with Burnett, or return to the possibilities with the White Sox and Red Sox.

The White Sox figure to head the list of other deals, with prospect Brandon McCarthy the main part of the package along with starter Jose Contreras. The Red Sox's offer would center on right-handed pitcher Bronson Arroyo.

Information from ESPN's Peter Gammons and ESPN.com senior writer Jayson Stark was used in this report.