BALTIMORE - Buck Showalter's comments on the possibility of Alex Rodriguez being suspended, and what monetary effects it could have on the rest of baseball, made national headlines in a USA Today article that hit the Internet late Wednesday evening.
The Orioles manager didn't talk about specifics regarding Rodriguez's ties to performance-enhancing drugs, but he did speak to the notion that a suspension handed down from baseball commissioner Bud Selig could take a substantial amount of money off New York's books and allow the Yankees to pursue high-profile free agents.
Like Baltimore catcher Matt Wieters, who is eligible for free agency in 2015.
"If Bud lets them get away with that, they're under the luxury tax," Showalter said in the article. "If they can reset, they can spend again and I guarantee you in two years Matt Wieters is in New York."
On Thursday, Showalter said he didn't expect the comments to be read and picked up by various media outlets acorss the country.
"It wasn't meant for public consumption," Showalter said before Thursday's game. "You guys know, we sit around and we talk all the time about baseball issues because we kind of love our game. We look at things and talk about it. Unfortunately, somebody decided to put it out there publicly. I said it, and someone decided to print it. It's unfortunate, what are you going to do?
"It just all boils out of the idea that we'd like Matt to be with us. We like him."
Wieters, who is signed through this season but under team control for two more years, met with Showalter before the game and talked about the USA Today story.
"I'm happy to be here right now," he said, "and I'm not thinking about where I'm going to be playing in two years, that's for sure."
INJURY UPDATES: Showalter said starting pitcher Jason Hammel is scheduled Friday morning for an MRI on his right arm. Hammel went on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with soreness near his elbow despite Showalter saying his right-hander could have tried to pitch through the pain.
Steve Johnson is set to pitch for Class-AA Bowie on Saturday, Showalter said. Johnson has been on the DL since early June with a left oblique strain.
Utility player Wilson Betemit, out since spring training with a knee injury, is slated to begin his rehab process Aug. 6 in the Gulf Coast League, provided there aren't complications or setbacks before then.
UP NEXT: The Orioles host Seattle in a three-game series beginning Friday. Baltimore's scheduled starters are Chris Tillman (13-3), Scott Feldman (2-2), and Wei-Yin Chen (6-3), while the Mariners counter with Aaron Harang (5-9), Erasmo Ramirez (2-0), and Joe Saunders (9-10).

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