Coaching staff closer to being finalized

I wrote this morning that former Brewers pitcher Bill Castro had emerged as a leading candidate to become bullpen coach, and nothing has changed. He's still the top choice at the moment, but I'm told that a final decision hasn't been made.

Castro twice served as bullpen and pitching coach with the Brewers before being fired on Aug. 12, 2009. He was the pitching coach for the Dominican Republic's entry in the inaugural World Baseball Classic. He would give manager Buck Showalter a desired Spanish-speaking coach.

Earlier candidates for the job were eliminated when their respective teams offered big raises to keep them.

As for third base coach, Boston's Demarlo Hale has become Showalter's first choice, according to a source, but it's complicated. Hale is under contract for next season as the Red Sox's bench coach and could be denied the opportunity to leave the organization.

The Red Sox are searching for a new manager, so Hale's status is up in the air.

Current Red Sox third base coach Tim Bogar isn't a candidate to join Showalter's staff.

Hale has been an infield and outfield instructor in the past. First base coach Wayne Kirby serves as the Orioles' outfield instructor, so Hale would take over Willie Randolph's duties.

Hale and Showalter have previous ties from their days together in Texas, so they would be reunited with the Orioles.

The Sun's Dan Connolly tweeted earlier tonight that Hale had emerged as the favorite. Again, it's in the Red Sox's hands. They've got first dibs.

The rest of the Orioles' coaching staff remains intact. Kirby stays as first base coach, Rick Adair as pitching coach, John Russell as bench coach and Jim Presley as hitting coach.

Former Orioles shortstop Mike Bordick could serve as a seventh coach at home games.

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