The Orioles' pending one-year deal with infielder Everth Cabrera is still moving forward, but executive vice president Dan Duquette said Thursday that he wasn't certain that it would be finalized by the end of the week.
SARASOTA, FLA. — The Orioles' pending one-year deal with infielder Everth Cabrera is still moving forward, but executive vice president Dan Duquette said Thursday that he wasn't certain that it would be finalized by the end of the week.
"There's not a lot that I can say about players while we're in the process," Duquette said Thursday. "The rules don't allow it, but we've done a lot of research on this player, and his skill and ability is very good, and we think there may be a fit."
Duquette said there's nothing to believe the deal has stalled, but there are a few issues that still must be resolved before it is finalized.
"This is a little bit longer process," Duquette said.
Cabrera has taken a physical, and the club is comfortable with their due diligence in reviewing his medicals. He missed 69 games last season with hamstring injuries.
But the club is more likely trying to ensure that Cabrera's pending legal issues can be resolved quickly. He faces a misdemeanor charge for resisting arrest stemming from a traffic stop in California on Sept. 3. A trial is currently set for April 13.
-- Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Thursday that Matt Wieters likely will catch -- he still won't throw -- in both intrasquad games March 1 and 2, and the team will create innings for him behind the plate before he's cleared to resume throwing in games March 17.
Showalter said Wednesday that he expects Wieters to serve as the team's designated hitter early in spring training, but he said Thursday that he wants to start to build Wieters' innings behind the plate before he's cleared to throw.
-- Outfielder Alejandro De Aza, the only remaining arbitration-eligible player whose contract is unresolved, is set to have an arbitration hearing Friday in St. Petersburg.
De Aza has filed for $5.65 million; the Orioles have offered $5 million.
Asked whether there's a chance the Orioles could avoid a hearing with De Aza, Duquette said: "Yeah, I'm sure there's a chance, but we're at this stage of the game. We'll probably see the hearing through."
-- Infielder Paul Janish had surgery to remove bone chips from his throwing elbow earlier this week and will miss six to eight weeks, Duquette said.
Janish was signed to add minor league infield depth, so the team's acquisition of infielder Jayson Nix, a minor league signing that was announced Thursday, helps overcome that loss.
"We had an opening for shortstop, and we needed help in terms of the depth of the organization," Duquette said of the Nix signing. "We signed a kid, Paul Janish, who has an issue with his elbow. He had to have some bone chips taken out, and Jayson Nix, he's a veteran infielder. He can play shortstop.
"He played on the Yankees' playoff team a couple of years ago. He knows his way around the league, and I think he'll be a real good addition to the depth of our ballclub."
-- The Orioles will have a new spring training setup for pitchers after installing a bullpen area in the outfield of the Ed Smith Stadium facility's turf field with three full mounds, one half mound and a flat mound.
When pitchers and catchers begin working out Friday, they will use all four fields for pitchers fielding practice drills. But once the full squad starts working out Wednesday, the new addition will allow all the pitchers to work on one field because it has three infields and the new bullpen area.