A few tidbits
*Free agency brings about all sorts of rumors, with any scrap of info having the potential to become “big news”. The Orioles aren’t going to reveal who they are in on and who they aren’t. I know they’ve made some calls, both to former players turned free agents and options outside the organization. How active they are compared to other years or other organizations is impossible to say. But they are certainly throwing their name in there. President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail is close to the vest and always has been, so the potential of hearing “the Orioles have contacted player X” is less likely than with other clubs. I wouldn’t read too much into that.
*I wrote last night about Juan Samuel exploring other options outside of Baltimore, namely joining the Phillies staff as first-base coach. MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki has more on that today on his blog including a quote from Samuel’s agent, Rex Gary.
“We’ve been in touch with the Phillies, just very recently,” said Gary. “I don’t know where it’s going to go, but there’s obviously a position and Juan Samuel is still available. We’ll see. We’ve been in touch with other teams, too. But I will acknowledge that we have spoken with the Phillies.”
The Orioles have yet to agree contractually with Samuel, who is currently still in the Dominican Republic, and the feeling out of Baltimore is that he’s likely headed for Charlie Manuel’s staff. No offer is believed to have been extended by the Phillies yet.
*The O’s also have to fill a bench coach spot and although I’ve gotten a few emails about it, it won’t be Samuel. My guess is Showalter will go with someone experienced, and it could very well depend on who does (or doesn’t) get the two remaining managerial openings in New York and Pittsburgh. If Samuel does go to Philly, Gary Allenson has a chances to stay on Showalter’s staff as third base coach. He’s a former catcher, which is another plus since the O’s don’t have a staff member with specific catching expertise.
*If you missed it last night, ESPN.com has a story that Japanese middle infielder middle infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka could potentially be posted to MLB teams. Have the Orioles scouted him and would they be interested if he does become available? The answer to both questions is yes. But don’t get too excited as this is all in the infancy stages.