A much-talked-about trade involving Braves slugger Dale Murphy coming to the San Diego Padres has fizzled.
After reviewing a report by Braves scout Wes Westrum, Atlanta general manager Bobby Cox decided the available Padres players were "not what we're looking for."Westrum spent the past week evaluating Padres talent at San Diego's spring training camp in Yuma.
Though Cox declined to be specific, the report apparently singled out catcher Sandy Alomar Jr., pitcher Greg Harris and outfielder John Kruk as the top three Padres trade prospects. But Cox decided they weren't enough to pry Murphy loose from Atlanta.
"I don't think we're going to have a deal there, it's not what we're looking for," Cox said in an interview from the Braves' West Palm Beach training camp.
"We'd like to have Alomar, but the rest of the guys just don't match up."
Cox said he is close to telling Murphy he will return to Atlanta for another season.
"We're approaching that time," said Cox, who added that talks with the New York Mets have all but concluded because the Mets are unwilling to part with rookie pitcher David West.
Padres manager Jack McKeon said his optimism about the potential deal waned as the talks that began in December bogged down in recent weeks. He downplayed the significance of the breakdown in discussions.
"I never knew if they would really trade Murphy. I had just hoped. It was always up to them, it was always their prerogative, and the longer it went on, the more I realized it might not happen."
McKeon said while the Padres would like to have had Murphy, the manager still likes the way the team shapes up as the regular season approaches.
"I think we'll be fine," he said.