Luke Scott: “When they’re ready, I’ll be ready”

The Orioles must decide in the next three weeks whether to offer Luke Scott a contract for the 2012 season or let him become a free agent.

Scott has no idea which direction the Orioles are leaning. And he’s not pushing them.

“They’re still getting things squared away with the new GM,” Scott said last week, referring to new executive vice president Dan Duquette.

Scott’s agent recently contacted the Orioles again to find out whether they planned to non-tender the veteran outfielder/DH, who’s making a nice recovery from shoulder surgery and will be allowed to hit off a tee in the week or two.

“They said probably around the December winter meetings they’d have an idea what was going to happen,” Scott said.

“I haven’t been too concerned about it. It’s not taking up any of my thoughts or time. I know it will happen when it happens. There’s a new GM. I understand they have a lot to talk about. When they’re ready, I’ll be ready.”

The Orioles could choose to non-tender Scott and negotiate a lesser deal for him. He made $6.4 million this year while batting .220 with nine homers, 22 RBIs and a .703 OPS in 64 games. He underwent surgery July 26 in Pensacola, Fla., to repair SLAP and posterior tears.

Would Scott be open to negotiating a new deal with the Orioles if he’s non-tendered at the Dec. 12 deadline?

“Yeah, I’d be open to it. That’s the business part of the game,” he said.

“At end of the day, you do what’s best for yourself. That’s without a doubt. Every player does what’s best for himself. If they treat you fairly and treat you well, there’s no reason why I shouldn’t come back to Baltimore. That’s my heart’s desire, if it’s up to me. I want to play in Baltimore and be there whenever the organization makes a turn and makes the playoffs. I want to be part of that. I want to see things turn around. That’s what my heart’s desire is.

“Basically, the ball’s in their court. I’ve always been fair. I’m not a high maintenance guy who needs to be wined and dined and have the red carpet rolled out for me. Just be fair to me.

“Everything I do, I do professionally. I take pride in what I do. It means a lot to me, putting on that uniform and going out there and playing the game. The results I get are personal. Regardless of the team, it’s personal as far as how much it means to me and my family. I want to do well because of all the hard work I put into it. I want to see the fruits of my labor. At the same time, I will be treated fairly.

“My thought process now is, I don’t think it’ll be a problem. I understand the Orioles’ concern. They want me to be healthy, and I will be healthy. I feel great. I’m going to do my part, so there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be back better than before. That’s where I’m at. I hope it gets done.

“I’m just taking care of myself. I’m in the gym four or five days a week now. I’ve been in the gym five or six weeks now, just doing stuff, legs and exercises I can do. I’m in great shape now. I’ve trimmed down to 200 pounds. My body fat’s gone way down. That’s good for Men’s Fitness, but it’s not good for hitting a baseball. I’ve got to put on another seven to 10 pounds of lean mass.”

I interrupted Scott’s hunting excursion in Alamo, Ga., where he’s combining one of his favorite hobbies with his revised workout routine.

“I’m doing shuttle runs, gassers, pushups. That’s my conditioning for the day. Then, more hunting,” he said. “My friend has a camp here, and I got such a good report from Dr. (James) Andrews on Monday, I had to go reward myself.”

More on that report later.

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