SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles held an abbreviated workout this morning with no bullpen sessions on the agenda.
Manager Buck Showalter ran various fielding drills, including bunt coverage. However, catcher Andrew Susac wasn’t a participant due to an undisclosed physical issue.
Showalter will meet with the media at 12:30 p.m. and provide an update on Susac, who came to the Orioles in a Feb. 2 trade with the Brewers.
Hindered by injuries in the past - he went on the disabled list last year with a trapezius strain and debilitating headaches - Susac is competing with Chance Sisco and Austin Wynns for the backup job behind Caleb Joseph.
The Orioles may be forced to bring in another catcher if Susac is out for an extended period. They also have Audry Perez in camp.
Susac, who turns 28 next month, is a career .232/.299/.396 hitter in 105 major league games.
Meanwhile, executive vice president Dan Duquette is continuing his search for a left-handed hitting outfielder and sounded confident today that he can sign one of the remaining free agents. He indicated that free agency is a more viable avenue than a trade.
The market still holds Carlos González, Jarrod Dyson, Jon Jay, Melky Cabrera, Colby Rasmus, Michael Saunders and Michael Bourn. Manager Buck Showalter has emphasized the importance of having a plus defender in right field.
The Rays designated outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment last night. A trade appears in the works, though reports state that the Rays don’t have one in hand.
The Orioles should have interest based on their needs, but Duquette seems more focused on free agency and Dickerson would have to be released or placed on waivers.
Dickerson made his first All-Star team last summer while batting .282/.325/.490 with 33 doubles, four triples, 27 home runs and 62 RBIs in 150 games. He hit .312/.355/.548 in the first half, but only .241/.282/.408 following the break.
Dickerson, who’s under team control for two more seasons, is regarded as an average fielder.
Chris Davis is the only left-handed hitter who projects as an everyday presence in the lineup. Anthony Santander is a switch-hitter who will be on the bench if the Orioles keep him for the first 44 days of the season before he sheds Rule 5 status. Sisco bats from the left side, but he’s going to work in a part-time role or start the year at Triple-A Norfolk.
Duquette also is continuing his search for a starting pitcher after signing Andrew Cashner to a two-year deal worth a guaranteed $16 million. No moves are expected today, however.