LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Orioles have until Monday to negotiate exclusively with free agent Corey Patterson, but president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said yesterday that he doesn't expect to have any discussions with the center fielder during that period.
MacPhail didn't rule out re-signing Patterson, but he wants to keep his options open.
"We have some interest in talking to Corey, but I thought I would try to come to these meetings and get a sense of whatever trade possibilities we might have," MacPhail said. "Before we got too active with any free agents, I wanted to get a better handle of what might be available through trade."
Patterson, who hit .269 this past season with eight home runs, 45 RBIs and 37 steals, said last month that he would be interested in a potential return to the Orioles, who acquired him from the Chicago Cubs for two minor leaguers in January 2006.
Represented by Scott Boras, Patterson is part of a deep free-agent center field class that includes Torii Hunter, Andruw Jones and Aaron Rowand. MacPhail has said he doesn't plan to be involved with any of the big-name free agents.
Patterson would come at a cheaper price, and MacPhail puts a high value on his defense and speed.
"We could still do it, but I thought it would be in our best interest to try to get a handle on the positions that we could fill via trade," he said.
A. Rodriguez? Count O's out
MacPhail had a message yesterday for anybody who believed that the Orioles were poised to make a run at free agent third baseman Alex Rodriguez.
"You can cross us off the list," MacPhail said. "[It's] not where we're headed. We have other strategic goals that we need to accomplish, and I just [don't] think that one player - no matter how good they are - will really get us to where we need to be."
Next year, the Orioles will make their first trip to Wrigley Field for a series against the Chicago Cubs. That's among the highlights of the 2008 schedule the team released yesterday.
The June 24-26 interleague series takes place after the Orioles travel to Milwaukee. They'll also play a home-and-home series against the Washington Nationals. The Pittsburgh Pirates visit Camden Yards on June 13-15, their first trip to Baltimore since the 1979 World Series.
The Orioles begin their season at home March 31 against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays - the 39th time in 55 years they've opened in Baltimore. They will also host Seattle in a four-game series, marking former Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo's return to Camden Yards as Mariners third base coach.
The world champion Boston Red Sox visit Camden Yards on May 13 and 14, May 30 to June 2 and Aug. 18 to 20. The Orioles' longest road trip is a 10-game journey to play the Los Angeles Angels, Oakland Athletics and Kansas City Royals beginning May 2. They have 17 home dates in July.
Jauss' hiring is official
Orioles manager Dave Trembley first met Dave Jauss back in 1986, when Trembley, then the manager of Single-A Kinston, agreed to play Jauss' Atlantic Christian College team in an exhibition game. The longtime baseball men crossed paths many times after that, but it wasn't until last week that they shared their first extended conversation about the game.
Jauss, who had spent the past two seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers as Grady Little's bench coach, was officially named yesterday as the Orioles' bench coach as Trembley put the finishing touches on his overhaul of the coaching staff.
It was a nice consolation prize for Jauss, who had interviewed recently for the Pittsburgh Pirates' managerial vacancy that went to John Russell.
"It was definitely a great experience," Jauss, 50, said. "I know I held myself up well because they told me that. Dave and Mr. MacPhail were great about waiting and giving me the opportunity. It was very exciting to hear from Dave."
Jauss served as coordinator of minor league instruction for the Orioles in 1996 before spending 10 seasons in the Boston Red Sox's organization in various capacities.
"I know the American League East very well," he said. "Now that you have the schedule the way it is, you get to know those teams like the back of your hand. I don't consider myself really removed from [the division]."
Corrigan out of picture
Larry Corrigan, the well-respected scout who was one of the candidates for a front office position under MacPhail, has left the Minnesota Twins organization, where he had served as an assistant to the general manager. However, at this point, he appears likely to join the Pirates' front office and not the Orioles', according to a league source.
MacPhail said he has no plans to interview any executives during the meetings.
Sun reporter Roch Kubatko contributed to this article.