Orioles manager Buck Showalter can break down a position to its most esoteric aspects and then put it back together in terms anyone can understand, which is what he did Monday when the talk turned to filling the club's unexpected opening in right field.
The Orioles have avoided arbitration with right-hander Tommy Hunter by reaching an agreement Monday with the relief pitcher on a one-year deal. It is worth $4.65 million, according to an industry source.
According to sources, dialogue continues between the Orioles and the San Diego Padres. The Padres need to move some outfielders, and left-handed hitters Seth Smith and Will Venable are drawing the most interest from the Orioles.
As this year's winter meetings came to a close Thursday, the Orioles left the Manchester Grand Hyatt with only a couple Rule 5 draft picks as new additions. But Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette's message to fans Thursday was clear: We'll be OK.
Duquette said the Orioles were "fairly close a couple times" to re-signing Markakis, a homegrown player who has spent his entire nine-year major league career in Baltimore, but the club had a "concern that made the terms an issue for us."
Manager Buck Showalter and executive vice president Dan Duquette plan to meet, along with team brass, to begin looking to next season. Pitchers and catchers are slated to return for spring training three months from Saturday, and the Orioles face many difficult roster decisions in the meantime.
The Orioles' "We Won't Stop" season finally came to a screeching halt Wednesday at Kauffman Stadium when the won't-be-beat Kansas City Royals won another nailbiter, 2-1, in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series.
With the Orioles' playoff future hanging in the balance, the club could have used just a little more out of the Taiwanese left-hander. And Wei-Yin Chen couldn't deliver in the sixth inning, handing a precarious situation over to rookie Kevin Gausman.