The Mid-Atlantic Sports Network has had discussions with former Orioles executive vice president Mike Flanagan and could talk to as many as 20 other candidates about their open color commentator position, MASN spokesman Todd Webster said Friday.

Buck Martinez, who had broadcast Orioles games for the past seven seasons, left MASN this week to become the play-by-play man for the Toronto Blue Jays on Rogers SportsNet.

"We've spoken to Mike, but we will speak with probably 20 other people before it's all said and done," Webster said.

Flanagan acknowledged that he has had discussions with MASN officials, but he didn't want to comment further. Flanagan, who has spent this year in a transitional period after being a top executive for the organization for six years, has had two stints as an Orioles color commentator. He has spent four decades in the organization in various roles, from Cy Young Award-winning pitcher to pitching coach to the top decision-maker in the front office.

Webster said the network will consider its options in replacing Martinez, who was the color commentator for about 80 games during the 2009 season, essentially sharing the role with Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Palmer.

"MASN is in a unique position among regional sports networks to have such a deep bench," Webster said. "We'll probably be considering things until the early part of the spring. There is no immediate need to make a decision."

The rest of the MASN broadcasting team is expected for the 2010 season.

Martinez will be returning to Toronto, where he spent 21 years as a manager, player and broadcaster. This will be his first foray as a regular play-by-play man.

"MASN was terrific. From top to bottom, it was a great place to be," he said. "It was tough to leave. The fans have welcomed me ... and you know what, the club is going to get better. But [this] was an opportunity that I hadn't [had]. A chance to go back to Toronto, where I spent 21 years, a chance to do play-by-play and a chance to reunite with some people who I've known for years is pretty special."

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