NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter just spent 30 minutes addressing the media in the workroom here at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center.
Here are a few of the highlights. I’ll post quotes later in the afternoon.
* Showalter said he isn’t antsy that the Orioles haven’t made a trade and he wouldn’t want them to if other executives don’t place the same value on his players.
* Reliever Pedro Strop will pitch for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic, news that Showalter shared with reporters and later joked that he probably shouldn’t have told us. Jim Johnson declined a chance to pitch for Team USA. Wei-Yin Chen is still considering whether to pitch for Taiwan.
* Showalter spoke with Nate McLouth earlier today, and executive vice president Dan Duquette is expected to meet with the outfielder’s representative. The Orioles want to re-sign McLouth, who reportedly has drawn interest from the Mariners.
* Showalter told Chris Davis that he may get an opportunity to play first base. However, Showalter also said he’s hoping that the Orioles can re-sign Mark Reynolds, who was non-tendered on Friday. Showalter believes that Davis can be an above-average defender at a few positions.
* Third baseman Manny Machado came down with a case of meningitis a month ago and spent 1 1/2 days in the hospital, giving the club a bit of a scare, but he’s completely recovered and has been working out for a few weeks. The Orioles say it’s a non-issue.
* Showalter said Tsuyoshi Wada is ahead of schedule in his recovery from ligament-reconstructive surgery on his left elbow and could return sooner than expected. The original projections had Wada being unavailable until May at the earliest.
* The Orioles probably won’t name a third base coach until the end of the week, after the Winter Meetings are over and Showalter has flown into Baltimore. He’s narrowed down the list and there’s been no shortage of applicants. DeMarlo Hale even made a suggestion after vacating the position.
* The Orioles still plan on having Brian Matusz work as a starter in spring training, with the idea that he can be slotting into the bullpen later if he doesn’t crack the rotation.
* The Orioles are trying to re-sign infielder Omar Quintanilla to a minor league deal after non-tendering him on Friday.
* Showalter said left fielder Nolan Reimold could be a “big contributor” to the team next season. He’s not out of the picture.