Showalter, who managed Cruz in 2006 in his final season as Rangers manager, said the Orioles would do their due diligence on Cruz, as they would for any acquisition.

“I know him and I've had him as a manager so he's had a lot of teammates out there,” Showalter said. “He's not the only guy we've done a lot of homework on.”

Not speaking specifically about Cruz, Duquette indicated Saturday morning that the PED past of a player is something that is taken into consideration when signing a player.

"That's always a concern,'' he said. "I think it's a concern for the industry, but Major League Baseball has addressed that with the Joint Drug Agreement with the Players Association and that seems to be working."

The Orioles were also in talks last week with designated hitter Kendrys Morales and right-hander Ervin Santana, two other free agents tied to draft pick compensation.

Cruz had been the Rangers' primary starting right fielder over the past five seasons, but also has played left field. He likely would see most of his at-bats as a designated hitter but also could split time in left field with incumbent starter Nolan Reimold and David Lough.

His arrival likely will take at-bats away from Reimold, Steve Pearce and nonroster invite Delmon Young, all of whom are right-handed options at designated hitter and in the outfield.

“There’s a lot that can happen between now and the end of March,” Showalter said. “They control what happens over here the next five weeks.”

eencina@baltsun.com

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