The Orioles will not trade shortstop Miguel Tejada, FOXSports.com has learned.
The Astros, Angels and Rangers all made substantial offers for Tejada, a major-league official says, but the Orioles were not motivated enough to make a deal.
The Orioles rejected at least one blockbuster trade — Tejada for Astros right-hander Roy Oswalt, shortstop Adam Everett and a third player.
They also could have sent Tejada to the Angels for right-hander Ervin Santana and Triple-A shortstop Erick Aybar.
Either deal could have changed the direction of the Orioles' franchise, but owner Peter Angelos refused to approve any trade involving Tejada, a decision that is certain to be second-guessed.
The Astros, major-league sources say, are steamed that Angelos apparently quashed the original Oswalt-Tejada deal as well as several revised proposals.
But there may have been another issue.
The Astros, one major-league executive says, feared that the Orioles would flip Oswalt, their most prized acquisition for Tejada, to Houston's cross-state rival, the Texas Rangers.
A National League executive says the Astros "knew all along" that the Orioles were trying to flip Oswalt. However, the executive says that the Orioles indiscreetly shopped all of the players that the Astros offered them to other clubs, calling it "no way to do business."
The protocol in such matters is unclear.
Other executives say that if the Astros knew the Orioles were pursuing other deals, they are in no position to be upset; teams frequently engage in such practices, and not all are upfront with their intentions.
The Orioles apparently intended to trade Oswalt to the Rangers for third baseman Hank Blalock, Triple-A shortstop Joaquin Arias and one of the Rangers' top three pitching prospects — left-hander John Danks, right-hander Thomas Diamond or right-hander Edison Volquez.
They also would have ended up with two other players from the Astros — Everett and possibly third baseman Morgan Ensberg — effectively making the deal a 5-for-1 for Tejada.
Presumably, the Orioles then would have spun one of the third basemen, Blalock or Ensberg, or moved one of them to first, while moving their current third baseman, Melvin Mora, back to the outfield.
At one point Sunday, the Rangers appeared to be closing in on a trade for Phillies right-hander Jon Lieber, but were diverted by their pursuit of Oswalt.
For the Astros, losing Oswalt to the Rangers could have been a public-relations nightmare, evoking memories of when Nolan Ryan went from Houston to Texas. The Astros had similar concerns when Roger Clemens was courted by the Rangers as a free agent last spring.
However, a second NL executive says the Astros would have been less concerned about Oswalt going to the Rangers than their biggest NL Central rival, the Cardinals.
The Astros' inclusion of Oswalt in the Tejada discussions likely will shock the team's fans, but this probably will not be the last time Oswalt's name surfaces in trade discussions.
Oswalt, 28, is a free agent after the 2007 season. He is expected to seek a contract of at least five years. And his injury history and slight, 6-foot, 185-pound frame make him a long-term risk.