Izturis looks like the guy

The Orioles have all but finalized a two-year contract with free agent shortstop Cesar Izturis (right) that is believed to be worth about $6 million -- according to a pair of sources close to the situation -- but may have to wait until after the winter meetings to announce the deal because he almost certainly will be required to undergo a physical.

Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail would only say that he has been making solid progress in the negotiations with Izturis's agent, but his upbeat response to inquiries about the negotiations seem to point to the situation being very advanced.

The range of possibilities has narrowed over the past few days, but after Adam Everett signed with the Detroit Tigers, MacPhail said he was still happy with the way the shortstop situation was playing out. He seemed to indicate that the team is about to clear its offseason schedule to the point where it can focus entirely on the more complicated matter of adding a couple of veteran pitchers to the starting rotation.

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