Search for new GM continues

Search for new GM continues

The O's are deep in their search for their new GM.

INSIDE PITCH

The Orioles front office is at a crossroads yet again.

Andy MacPhail took the nearest exit at season's end, leaving the Orioles without anyone in the driver's seat heading into another offseason full of needs.

The Orioles spent the weeks following the announcement that MacPhail would be stepping down interviewing potential replacements.

Dodgers assistant general manager De Jon Watson recently followed Diamondbacks executive Jerry Dipoto and Blue Jays assistant general manager Tony LaCava in interviewing for the job.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter is expected to be involved in the hiring, and he could play a larger role in player personnel once the new executive is hired.

The Orioles potentially would allow the new executive to bring along his own scouting director, as team draft guru Joe Jordan followed MacPhail's lead, stepping down and joining the Phillies front office.

MacPhail, whom club owner Peter Angelos had wanted to retain in at least an advisory role, has opted to take time off to spend with his family.

NOTES, QUOTES

--C Craig Tatum was claimed off waivers by the Astros from the Orioles. Tatum, 28, appeared in 31 big-league games this year, hitting .195/.245/.230 with no homers and seven RBI.

--2B Brian Roberts recently said he's feeling the best he has felt in six months, according to the Baltimore Sun. Roberts told the newspaper he had been free of concussion symptoms for about two weeks -- the first time he'd been without problems since suffering his concussion in May. Roberts didn't play after getting hurt during a game in Boston.

--RHP Jeremy Guthrie will join several major-leaguers in a series against Chinese Taipei in early November. Guthrie is one of six pitchers who will play with a Major League Baseball All-Star team from Nov. 1-6 in three Taiwanese cities. Guthrie finished 9-17 with a 4.33 ERA in 34 games in 2011. He is the only Oriole on the traveling squad.

--1B/3B Chris Davis decided not to undergo sports hernia surgery, MLB.com reported. Davis, acquired by the Orioles from Texas in July, originally planned to have the procedure done in mid-October, but he told MLB.com the condition had improved enough that he wouldn't need the operation.

--RHP Jeremy Accardo cleared waivers and was outrighted to Class AAA Norfolk. Accardo was 3-3 with a 5.73 ERA in 31 appearances with the Orioles this year. He will provide depth heading into spring training, and he could pitch his way back onto the big-league roster, barring significant upgrades in depth to the relief corps this winter.

--RHP Alfredo Simon will have a hearing Nov. 8 in the Dominican Republic in connection with a New Year's Day shooting. Simon was the lone suspect in the case, and he spent approximately three months in jail before joining the Orioles on May 24. He went 4-9 with a 4.90 ERA in 23 games for Baltimore this year.

BY THE NUMBERS: 1 -- Statue of a former Oriole around Camden Yards, after a resident organized the creation and unveiling of a Brooks Robinson monument.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We didn't win as many games as we would've liked, but I had a chance to work with and help some young talent, and I feel like I did that." -- Former third base coach Willie Randolph, to the Baltimore Sun, after he learned he would not return in 2012

ROSTER REPORT

The Orioles head into the offseason needing many of the same items they have for the past handful of winters: a power-hitting corner infielder, an everyday left fielder and at least one veteran starter. The club has some versatility in the current roster, and a number of players under club control for a few years. However, the first move is likely to be the hiring of a general manager to replace Andy MacPhail.

DEPARTURE: C Craig Tatum (waiver claim by Astros).

BIGGEST NEEDS: The Orioles have the need for one corner infielder and an every-day left fielder. 1B/3B Mark Reynolds has versatility, enabling the club to look at both positions. OF Nolan Reimold and 1B/3B Chris Davis provide depth at both positions and at designated hitter. The club could use one or two veteran starters.

FREE AGENTS: DH Vladimir Guerrero, SS Cesar Izturis, RHP Chris Jakubauskas.

None of the three is expected to return. Guerrero and Izturis were praised for their clubhouse roles. Izturis has next to no role on the club, particularly with the emergence of INF Robert Andino in 2011. Guerrero didn't put up the numbers the club expected from him in 2011, and could sign elsewhere. Jakubauskas refused a minor league assignment and became a free agent.

ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE: OF Luke Scott and RHP Jeremy Guthrie.

The two veterans are in their final years as arbitration-eligible players. Guthrie is likely to return and could command a long-term deal. Scott is less likely to return.

IN LIMBO: C/INF Jake Fox, RHP Chris Tillman.

Fox may not return after he was left in limbo for much of the regular season. Tillman, a former top pitching prospect, could be dealt after another lost season split between Class AAA Norfolk and Baltimore.

MEDICAL WATCH:

--OF Luke Scott (shoulder surgery in July 2011) said he could be cleared for light baseball activity by mid-November.

--INF Ryan Adams (sports hernia) was scheduled to have offseason surgery.

--1B/3B Chris Davis (sports hernia) will rest and rehab the injury instead of undergoing surgery.

--2B Brian Roberts (concussion-related headaches) is expected to return for the start of spring training.

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