"I think Dan wants to get it out there that we are a player in this market," Showalter said.

Roberts 'going day by day'

Among the Orioles attending the annual children's holiday party at Dave & Buster's at the Arundel Mills mall was second baseman Brian Roberts, who is attempting to come back from a concussion that limited him to just 39 games in 2011.

"I'm just going day by day, trying to do a little more," said Roberts, who first suffered the concussion in September 2010, when he tapped himself on the helmet with a bat after an at-bat. "Just taking it slow and trying to get better every day. That's about all I can tell you, really."

Although he said this fall that he was pain-free for two consecutive weeks for the first time since the original incident, Roberts wasn't as forthcoming about his health Tuesday, saying he was "feeling OK, I'm feeling fine."

He didn't want to put a timetable on his recovery or make predictions on when he would be back to 100 percent healthy.

"I'm taking it one day at a time. Seriously, I'm not saying that in a bad way," Roberts said. "That's where my life is right now. I feel like that's the best way to handle it. I can't look three months from now, and I can't look three months back. I can take today and I can take this week and I'm very focused on what I'm trying to accomplish and what I'm doing, but that's really all I can look at at this point."

Guthrie not worried

Right-hander Jeremy Guthrie, who is a free agent at the end of the 2012 season, has become a pro at dealing with his name in trade rumors.

"It's simple. You just go on and assume nothing will happen, and if something happens, you adjust," Guthrie said. "I think it becomes difficult if you start thinking about what you will do if something happens. There is no difference than any other year."

Guthrie is the veteran leader on a staff of young pitchers — and at least one of those players is hoping the rumors are simply that.

"I'd hate to lose him," right-hander Jake Arrieta said.

Arrieta feeling good

Arrieta, who had surgery in August to remove bone spurs from his right elbow, said he is about a month ahead of schedule in his recuperation. Arrieta is throwing pain-free off flat ground and said he is in line to be ready for spring training.

"I didn't want to push things, knowing that I had ample time to get ready for throwing and workouts, but I felt like I was at the point where I could elevate my training at an earlier stage, so I went ahead and did so to kind of get back ahead of the curve, to get back to where I was before surgery," Arrieta said. "And I think it's definitely going to be a much better feeling knowing that I don't have that [spur] in my elbow. I won't have in the back of my mind in the fourth and fifth inning that I can't even extend and am going to be laboring through my outing. I'm at the point now where there are zero complications and I'm going to be 100 percent."

Report dates set

The Orioles have set their reporting and first workout dates for spring training 2012. Pitchers and catchers will report to Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Fla., on Feb. 18 and have their first workout on Feb. 19. Position players must report by Feb. 23 and participate in their first full workout Feb. 24.

dan.connolly@baltsun.com

twitter.com/danconnollysun

Baltimore Sun reporter Peter Schmuck contributed to this article.

Orioles Insider | Live scores | Photos | Baseball app