Orioles non-update updates

Stop me if you've heard this one: The Orioles could announce today that they've officially signed Nate McLouth to a one-year contract.

McLouth hasn't completed his physical, which explains the delay. I've heard that he had to fly back home, but it could be done later today.

McLouth was seeking a deal worth about $2.5 million as the Winter Meetings started up in Nashville. The Orioles are giving him $2 million guaranteed, with another $500,000 in bonuses based on plate appearances.

The math works for both sides.

McLouth has refrained from commenting on the deal until it's official.

Manager Buck Showalter still hasn't signed a contract extension, but everyone I talk to says it's a mere formality and a simple negotiation.

Showalter recently met with owner Peter Angelos, and the extension was one of the topics discussed. Showalter isn't pushing for a resolution. He's content to let the process play out. If he treated it with more urgency, it probably would be done by now, but that's not how he's wired.

Each time that reporters bring up the subject, Showalter counters with a reminder that he's still got a year left on his contract.

Still no word on a new third base coach, but I'm expecting an announcement any day. It won't be a name that comes out of nowhere. Most of you probably have figured it out.

I've run Jim Thome's name past a few people in the organization and I can't get a true read on whether there's interest in re-signing him. The idea hasn't been shot down, but it hasn't been met with enthusiasm.

Thome told a Philadelphia reporter that he's open to playing in 2013. Retirement can wait if he gets the right offer. The Orioles prefer flexibility in the DH spot, but it rarely seems to work out that way.

I'm predicting that they pass on Thome while continuing their search for a power bat to slot in the middle of the lineup.

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