The Orioles are expected to announce their coaching staff by Monday, though the date is flexible. Don’t plan your entire day around it.
Bench coach John Russell, third base coach Bobby Dickerson, hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh and bullpen coach Dom Chiti have signed their contracts. Those four are confirmed.
The odds seem to have improved that the entire staff will return in 2016. We’ll find out.
Manager Buck Showalter has returned to Dallas after meeting yesterday with managing partner Peter G. Angelos. He will do the usual back-and-forth during the offseason, never seeming to stay in one place very long.
I haven’t heard that the Orioles are close to re-signing any of their pending free agents, the current focus placed on the coaching staff. However, it’s true that they’ve had multiple discussions with agent Scott Boras regarding first baseman Chris Davis. I don’t know when the last one took place, but the lines of communication have been open. Davis hasn’t gone ignored.
Davis still is destined to hit the open market following the World Series and the word on the street is that he’s seeking a seven- or eight-year deal, if you can believe what you hear on the street. The Orioles have to decide how much money they want or can sink into one player while also addressing their other needs, including a starting pitcher and raises for their arbitration-eligibles.
I’ll say again that they must make an aggressive play for reliever Darren O’Day before the World Series ends. They also would like to bring back free-agent infielder/outfielder Steve Pearce, and he may be the easiest negotiation of the group.
Pearce is one of Showalter’s favorites, and he’s valuable due to his ability to play the outfield and first, second and third base while supplying power when healthy.
The list of arbitration-eligible players includes infielder Paul Janish, who went 10-for-35 with three doubles and three RBIs in 14 games after the Orioles purchased his contract from Triple-A Norfolk. His offensive output is a bonus. The Orioles value his defense and see him as being similar to shortstop J.J. Hardy - the ultimate glove compliment.
Janish didn’t commit an error in his 83 2/3 innings at shortstop with the Orioles or his eight innings at second base. Showalter has endorsed Janish’s return next season, saying the team otherwise will spend the winter looking for the exact same player.
Hardy said he sees the similarities that others have noticed.
“He’s steady,” Hardy said. “He’s going to make the plays. He’s got great hands.
“I played against him a little bit when he was in Cincinnati. He’s an awesome teammate. He’s funny, he’s cool. We all like him here. He fits right in.”
Janish is just as reliable in the field as Hardy.
“The similarities of just making the plays,” Hardy said. “He’s a little bit different. I think he might have a little bit more flash than I’ve got.
“He gets dirty a lot more than I get dirty, but he makes all the plays. He’s a great shortstop. I’ve always thought that.”
Janish also has played third base in the majors and minors. Assuming he’s part of the spring training roster, could he beat out Ryan Flaherty for the utility role?
Flaherty also has played first base and the outfield, and he’s hit 32 home runs in four major league seasons and 947 at-bats. Janish has hit seven home runs in seven seasons and 1,115 at-bats. How much value do you place on the pop?
Shameless plug alert: I’m back on “Wall to Wall Baseball” today from noon-2 p.m. on MASN.