Odds and ends
*Teams must set their 40-man roster by midnight tonight in advance of the Rule-5 Draft which takes place on the final day of the Winter Meetings next month. Simply put, players left unprotected could be taken in the Draft with the O’s taking –and keeping — infielder Ryan Flaherty last winter.
There’s a pretty good basic summation of the rules here, and the Orioles currently have 39 players on their 40-man roster. So, expect some shuffling before tonight’s deadline.
In case you missed it, I caught up with Orioles prospect Mike Belfiore, who is a strong candidate to be added to the roster tonight. You can read that story on Belfiore, a left-handed pitcher acquired from Arizona to complete the Josh Bell trade, here. Infielder Jonathan Schoop is another near-lock to be added to the 40-man.
*DeMarlo Hale has interviewed for the Blue Jays vacant bench coach position, a role that would be viewed as a promotion from his previous position as Orioles third base coach. Toronto, which hired John Gibbons for a second go-around as manager, is certainly having quite a newsy winter so far. Hale has been offered a contract by the O’s for 2013–as have all of manager Buck Showalter’s coaches — and they’d like to keep him on staff. Losing Hale to a divisional rival, particularly because it’s not a managerial gig, wouldn’t go over to well with some in the O’s organization.
*The Rays have released their Spring Training schedule and there’s a few dates with the Orioles:
March 2- Orioles @ Rays
March 14 – Rays @ Orioles
March 22- split squad with O’s @ Rays
March 28- Rays @ Orioles
The O’s released last year’s spring schedule on Nov. 29 and are aiming for a similar timeframe this year.