SARASOTA, FLA. — The Orioles have not officially confirmed their three-year, $33 million deal with outfielder Dexter Fowler, but even when they do, they will not end up being the major league team that spent the most this winter on free agents.
It appeared that would be the case when both Fowler and pitcher Yovani Gallardo agreed to terms on similar three-year deals worth about $35 million each. That would have raised their total free-agent outlay to more than $280 million, surpassing the $276 million the Cubs spent on Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist, John Lackey and Trevor Cahill. But the revamped Gallardo deal ends their shopping spree at a total price of about $270 million.
Not that the Orioles were trying to win this particular competition. They managed to slice a big chunk off Gallardo's guarantee and figure to end up getting both Gallardo and Fowler for a below-market total of $55 million.
Club officials continue to insist that the Fowler deal is not quite done, but no one is ruling out the possibility that Fowler will be in camp today to take a physical.
Showalter cautious on Kim: Though the starting outfield appears to be set, manager Buck Showalter continues to hedge on the outlook for South Korean outfielder Hyun Soo Kim.
"Who knows what Kim's going to be and if he'll make the club or not? ... We'll see," Showalter said. "I've seen a lot of guys who go out there and hit a lot of home runs in batting practice with the wind blowing out and look good in the cage. Who knows? But the potential's there."
Showalter said he got a scouting report from former Korean major leaguer Hee Seop Choi, who visited camp Tuesday and will be a guest coach at the minor league facility this spring.
"I was talking to Choi yesterday," Showalter said. "I said, 'Tell me the best thing. What do you like about Kim? Tell me something good.' He said, 'Really, really good defender.' I said, 'Tell me something bad.' He said, 'Nothing. Best player in Korea.' I said, 'Good, you're hired.'"
Weather isn't always great in Florida: The weather in Sarasota had been picture perfect through the first five days of training camp, but the skies opened up Wednesday and forced the Orioles to scramble to get all of their work in.
"That's where you feel good because everybody gets to use their rain-day schedule that they spend the offseason working on and [usually] don't use it,'' Showalter said. "We sent half the pitchers to Twin Lakes and half here, half the catchers over there to catch them. They supplied the hitters over there and we got the work done in half the time."
Adam Jones for president: Orioles center fielder Adam Jones usually goes on a rant this time of year when the preseason analysts downplay the Orioles' chances of competing in the American League East, but this year he took a different tack.
"You make a prediction, cool," he said. "I'm running for president."
When Jones was informed that he will not be eligible to run for president until he's 35 years old, he said he would settle for being mayor of Baltimore.
Of course, that led to someone asking Showalter if he would vote for Jones for president.
"Who's he running against?" Showalter replied. "There are some candidates out there I would [vote for Jones against]."
Around the horn: Every Orioles pitcher in camp is scheduled to pitch in the two intrasquad games Saturday and Sunday except left-hander Jeff Beliveau, who is coming back from labrum surgery and is being brought along slowly. … Major League Baseball chief baseball officer Joe Torre was in camp Wednesday to brief the coaching staff on some of the rule changes for the upcoming season.