Showalter: Roberts still an option at second base

Showalter: Roberts still an option at second base
December 10, 2013, 4:45 pm
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Orioles haven’t decided who will be 2014’s second baseman. It could be Ryan Flaherty, Jonathan Schoop, Jemile Weeks—or maybe Brian Roberts.

Manager Buck Showalter said that he would like to have Roberts back.

“In a perfect world, we’ll see if it works for everybody. It’s not always a perfect world. It’s got to fit for him. There are some decisions that have to be made when people start exchanging salaries,” Showalter.

“I’m sure the conversations that need to be had will be had.”

Flaherty was a Rule 5 draft choice two years ago, and Showalter said that he projects as a 20 home run player who plays excellent defense.

“We’ll see where it shakes out. I like our options,” Showalter said.

Last week, the Orioles tendered a contract to Nolan Reimold, a move that surprised some. Showalter said that team executive Brady Anderson has checked on Reimold, and he’s ahead of last year in his recovery from surgery.

“We’re going to take another shot with him,” Showalter said.

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After undergoing his second neck surgery in two years, Reimold was given a $1.025 million contract.

“In today’s world, and I hate to say it publicly, but it’s actually pretty cheap when you look at the going rate of things. If Nolan comes back 100 percent, we’ve got a pretty good deal,” Showalter said. “He got injured diving into the stands trying to help his club win.”

Showalter feels that the organization is rewarding Reimold for his work ethic in trying to return from an injury.

The manager has heard good reports on Nick Markakis, who had a tough second half of 2013.

It’s possible that Markakis could return to the leadoff spot.

“He’s a candidate. He’s one of the guys if I have to fill it internally. He’s a guy we’d look at,” Showalter said. “In a perfect world, I’d rather not.”

Showalter is hoping Wei-Yin Chen will attend next month’s mini-camp in January. Chen had knee surgery in October. He thinks the knee could have been a factor in Chen’s disappointing late season performance.

“Sometimes those things affect you mentally as much as physically,” Showalter said. “Just kind of knowing it’s there.”

Zach Britton is out of options, just as Chris Tillman was a year ago. Showalter is hoping that he’ll be able to contribute. If the Orioles tried to put him on waivers, he’d surely be claimed by another team.

“When a guy’s out of options, Zach doesn’t have to worry about, every time he pitches, ‘are they going to send me out?’ or ‘they don’t like it.’ He knows he’s going to be pitching in the big leagues for somebody, hopefully us,” Showalter said. “There should be a real peace about that.”