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10/06/11 9:56 PM ET

MacPhail's future with Orioles remains unclear

BALTIMORE -- As of Thursday night, Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail had not made a decision on his future with the organization and -- while rumors and speculation continued to swirl that he wouldn't seek a contract extension beyond the 2011 season -- it is still possible he stays with Baltimore.

MacPhail, who has not spoken publicly about his contract situation, is still weighing his options in a process that has been much more drawn out than the national media, and some members of the Orioles front office, initially expected.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter, who hinted at a possible announcement looming in the final days of the season, made it no secret that his preference would be for things to be resolved sooner rather than later. But with the team's 2011 season more than a week old, and given how tight-lipped and under-the-radar MacPhail has been since joining the organization in 2007, it wouldn't be a total shock if a decision isn't made public until MacPhail's contract expires Oct. 31.

For Showalter, who was heavily rumored to be moving upstairs if MacPhail leaves, that expectation has also shifted and it's a safer bet that he will return to the dugout in 2012. Showalter, who is signed through the '13 season, is expected to play a significant role in how the organization moves forward, regardless of his formal title.

Showalter returned to the Baltimore area Thursday night and is expected to meet with MacPhail and principal owner Peter Angelos in the coming days to discuss and address the direction of the organization moving forward.

It's important to note that MacPhail, who by all indications has continued to go about his daily routine as president/GM, has never said publicly whether he wanted to return, only committing to the fact that his contract situation would be addressed as needed.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.