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Orioles manager Buck Showalter not dwelling on attempt to re-sign Chris Davis

Orioles manager Buck Showalter met with the media this afternoon at FanFest and spoke about several topics, including the team's chase of Chris Davis, the team's alternatives at first base, the love he gets from the fan base, the growth of Kevin Gausman and the return of Darren O'Day.

On whether he is more or less optimistic in retaining Chris Davis:

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"I don't dwell on it. I don't spend much time on it. I really don't. We have been and will be competitive to a point and they've got to make a decision how much is enough. The game will move on without me, you, him, the Orioles. We'd like to have him, but we'll be fine either way. I know there's probably a couple of people named Christian Walker and [Trey] Mancini who hope we don't. … I don't sense that. Everybody likes and respects Chris and where he is with his life and career and they have decisions to make just like Darren did. I don't dwell on it. I really don't. We all have our own personal thoughts about it, but it's not really my job right now. But if he's here or not here, then it becomes my job. We've already taken steps to be covered there one way or the other and the first one was when we drafted Christian and Trey. We traded for [Mark] Trumbo. Steve Pearce is still there. There's a number of possibilities there, but we'd like to have Chris first. But if it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen."

On whether it's disappointing the Orioles have made an aggressive play to sign Davis but haven't gotten it done:

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"I don't want players hearing me talk about all these things we have to do. We have good people. The biggest thing we have to do is get better with our starting pitching. That's the biggest difference in a nutshell. Chris [Tillman] has to revert to form. Miguel [Gonzalez] has got to revert to form. Gaus has to pop when we take the governors off and Ubaldo [Jimenez] was as solid as you can ask and we've got to find someone to take [Wei-Yin] Chen's place if he doesn't re-sign with us. He's not out of the question either. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of propaganda about him yet. There will be."

On hearing fans talk about wanting Davis back:

"I actually feel it the other. I've heard many of them voice the other side of that. … Right now, I'm looking at first base from within our organization until it changes. The same way with our pitching. We've got 28 pitchers going to camp right now."

On whether Walker and Mancini are ready to contribute to the big league club:

"We'll find out. You know what's going to happen in the spring; they're going make sure they've got their gray pants and they're going to play. They're going to get plenty of ABs. We can out-opportunity other teams and people know that and that's why we constantly get calls about people going to camp with us. Trey and Christian will get all the at-bats they want. We'll see what happens with Pearce and we'll see what happens with Mark. I'm planning on Mark focusing mostly on first base in the spring. Depending on what we do, there are some other possibilities out there, too. We're not done."

On getting a rousing reception from fans at the season-ticket holders' Q&A session:

"You don't ever take that for granted. The biggest thing is that they're cheering for the Orioles and the competitiveness. I think it was big last year to win the last three games against the Yankees. It was a proud moment for me as challenging and frustrating the season was. Those type of things I think our people appreciate. It's our team. It's not me. It's the way our players compete. That's why I keep telling them all the time, it's not that hard a job description. But it's surprising how many people can't bring it. I think people appreciate that the effort and the way the guys care about competing. And they and I don't take it lightly, the support we've been given."

On Gausman taking the next step forward in 2016:

"I think Kevin, if you look at the process young pitchers go through, he's done everything to go where he needs to go. We're going to take the governors off and when he comes out of a game now it's going to be because the opposition wouldn't let him continue. The pitch counts, the innings, he's ready to do what the challenge of what the season brings. I'm not going to sit here and part the water and say he's in the rotation, but it'd have to be injury-related or just have to be some other factor. I'm not going to kid y'all about that. We plan on him being one of our starters."

On O'Day returning:

"Darren is one of those guys who he wants to return the commitment that we make to him. He wants to be a really good pitcher for the Orioles for the next four years and maybe beyond that. He'd like to finish here. It didn't have that much to do with where his wife was working and this and that and whatever. We felt comfortable committing to a guy who the contract didn't drive him. Now he got a great contract and deserved it. This guy deserved to be paid. … I was very proud we were able to do it. … The biggest challenge I have with Darren now is making sure he doesn't think he has to do something differently, that he's got to be in charge of the Macy's Day Parade now. … All he's got to do is be what he was."

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