Showalter nearing agreement on contract extension

Orioles owner Peter G. Angelos and Buck Showalter are meeting again today to discuss the manager’s contract extension, and an announcement could be made early next week, according to an industry source.

Showalter is flying into Baltimore today after spending the holidays at his home in Dallas. He met several times with Angelos last month, and it’s been anticipated that he would sign a new contract in January.

The deal, covering multiple years, should be in place within a few days if everything goes according to plan.

Showalter was hired as the 19th manager in franchise history on July 29, 2010 and took the helm four days later. The Orioles are 196-185 during his tenure, posting a winning record and making the playoffs in 2012 for the first time in 15 years.

showalter-smiling-sidebar.jpgShowalter, 56, was named The Sporting News’ American League Manager of the Year, and he placed second to the Oakland Athletics’ Bob Melvin in the Baseball Writers’ Association of America voting. Melvin received 16 first-place votes and 12 second-place votes. Showalter collected 12 first-place votes and 16 second-place votes.

Showalter has won the BBWAA award twice previously, with the Texas Rangers in 2004 and the New York Yankees in 1994.

Last season, the Orioles reversed their 69-93 record of 2011 and finished second behind the Yankees in the American League East. They defeated the Rangers in the wild card game before being eliminated by the Yankees in Game 5 of the American League Division Series.

The Orioles still haven’t made a bold move to add to their roster, though talks continue with agents and rival executives. However, finalizing an extension for Showalter would complete one of the most important pieces of business this winter.

Showalter never pushed for it, pointing out whenever the subject was broached that he had one year remaining on his current deal. He made it clear to Angelos that he wanted to remain with the Orioles beyond the 2013 season, lessening the urgency, and ownership had every intention of holding onto him.

“Nobody’s more interested in keeping him than I am,” Angelos said on Oct. 12 following the Game 5 loss at Yankee Stadium. “And certainly I speak for everyone in the organization.”

Shameless plug alert: I’m back on “The Mid-Atlantic Sports Report” today from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. on MASN.

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