ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Bigbie Goes To Colorado For Byrnes

By Jorge Arangure Jr.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, July 30, 2005

BALTIMORE, July 29 -- The Orioles have acquired outfielder Eric Byrnes from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for outfielder Larry Bigbie. The two teams spoke at length about Byrnes on Friday, according to an official with one of the teams involved, but at one point reached an impasse that seemed to kill the deal. Bigbie started Friday's game in left field and then was replaced by Luis Matos prior to the start of the fourth inning. That began the speculation that Bigbie had been traded, but no announcement from the Orioles was made until late in the game.

Prior to Friday, Byrnes was hitting .253 this season with seven home runs playing for both the Rockies and the Oakland Athletics. Byrnes was traded to the Rockies on July 13.

He can play all three outfield positions and has been dubbed the "Human Crash Test Dummy" for his spectacular running and diving catches.

Several in the Orioles organization like Byrnes's relentless energy, comparing it to that of Miguel Tejada. Byrnes likely will become the Orioles' starting left fielder.

Bigbie, 27, has been somewhat of a disappointment in his four-plus seasons with Baltimore. A first-round selection in 1999 (21st overall), Bigbie was hitting just .249 with five home runs and a .316 on-base percentage this year entering Friday's game. He began the season as the starting left fielder but never could get going offensively.

In the past few weeks, Bigbie's name had been mentioned in several trade rumors, including as part of deals for Marlins pitcher A.J. Burnett and Pirates outfielder Matt Lawton. The trade rumors appeared to affect Bigbie on the field. He said he had a difficult time feeling part of the team when he knew he was likely headed elsewhere.


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