Showalter holds court (w. WBC note)
Today was manager Buck Showalter’s day to meet with the media at the Winter Meetings in Nashville, and I’ll have a full story up on Orioles.com later, but here are some quick hits for you of the highlights…
*Asked if he was getting antsy that they hadn’t made any moves, Showalter said it was actually the opposite. It appears that the Orioles value for their players in higher than other clubs and so far Baltimore won’t budge.
*Nate McLouth and Showalter spoke on the phone earlier today and the expectation is McLouth’s agent will meet with executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette at some point today. The Orioles want McLouth back and he wants to come back, assuming the two sides can work out a fair deal.
*Speaking of returns, Showalter said the club has not ruled out a return for Mark Reynolds, who was non-tendered on Friday. Reynolds is a free agent along with Omar Quintanilla –who was also non-tendered– and the O’s aren’t eliminating either player as an option for next season.
*Pedro Strop will pitch in the World Baseball Classic, with Wei-Yin Chen not officially decline yet according to Showalter –although Chen took to his Facebook page earlier this winter to say he wasn’t going to pitch– and Jim Johnson not likely to participate either. Speaking of Chen, he is one of about eight guys working out in California with special assistant Brady Anderson.
*Manny Machado was hospitalized with meningitis earlier this offseason and gave the club a pretty good scare, but is fine now and all recovered.
*Two guys who are progressing well this winter in particular: Nolan Reimold and Tsuyoshi Wada. Showalter says he feels really good about Reimold (who I caught up with recently here) and ideally the club would have like to have him and McLouth for next season. As for Wada, he is progressing quicker than expected from Tommy John on his left elbow and he could be available sooner than expected. Originally the Orioles had thought he would miss at least the first month of the regular season.
*The vacant third base coach position is expected to be filled by the end of the week. There’s a lot going on at these meetings and Showalter said he wants to sit down with Duquette back in Baltimore and iron this out. He’s down to a few candidates for a job that has gotten a lot of interest. DeMarlo Hale, who left the job to become Toronto’s bench coach, even put forth a suggestion.
*The Orioles have announced that their exhibition game on Wednesday, March 6 will be played against Team Spain at 1:05 p.m. at Ed Smith Stadium, as opposed to Team Brazil as originally listed. Season ticket holders at Ed Smith Stadium will receive complimentary tickets as part of their season package to the World Baseball Classic exhibition game, while all single game tickets will go on sale January 26. Prices for the WBC exhibition will be $15 for Infield and Lower Box (regularly $24 and $22), $10 for Reserved Grandstand (regularly $18) and $5 for the Left Field Pavilion (regularly $16). For more information on the World Baseball Classic fans may visit http://www.worldbaseballclassic.com. Fans interested in season plans, five-game flex packs or group tickets at Ed Smith Stadium may call 941-893-6300.