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Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail has met face-to-face with free agent slugger Mark Teixeira and agent Scott Boras. The meeting took place in Washington D.C. at about the same time as similar meetings involving the Yankees and Nationals.

MacPhail has been hesitant to give up any information on the Teixeira situation, but when asked directly at his winter meetings media conference if he had met with Teixeira in person, he smiled and nodded. He basically confirmed the meeting, but would not characterize the negotiations or speculate on the Orioles' chances of signing the top free agent position player in this year's market.

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MacPhail also would not deny trade negotiations have taken place with the Cincinnati Reds involving Ramon Hernandez. He did indicate, however, a reluctance to turn the job over to top prospect Matt Wieters immediately.

"You've got to remember,'' MacPhail said. "Matt's only had 200 at-bats at Double-A,"

That probably means the O's will sign or deal for a stopgap veteran. The name that keeps coming up is former O's backup Gregg Zaun, the nephew of Rick Dempsey and a popular young player when he was here the first time.

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