12/04/12 9:00 PM ET
Reimold, Wada progressing ahead of schedule
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
"Nolan is doing great," manager Buck Showalter said of last season's Opening Day left fielder, who underwent season-ending neck surgery in June. "I'm really excited about where he is because I think he could be a great contributing force.
"Just getting guys like him and Wada [back], who was scheduled to be our No. 2 starter, we haven't had him all year. He's doing great."
Reimold has been working out at his Florida home and remains on track to have a regular offseason and resume baseball activities after Christmas. It is a routine he's had in previous winters, using the early part of the offseason to build up strength, and he's expected to be a full-go in Spring Training.
Wada, who had left elbow ligament replacement surgery in May, won't have a regular winter, but Showalter said the pitcher -- signed last winter out of Japan -- is further along than expected.
"I know that's kind of under the radar," Showalter said of Wada, who never made it out of Spring Training due to elbow discomfort. "We have a chance to get a good pitcher a lot sooner than some people think. I'm not going to say the start of the season until we get down to spring. I think he's going to be healthy and ready to go earlier than people think.
"We've got nothing but rave reviews on his work habits. The doctor's real happy with the surgery. He's got a chance to really give us a shot in the arm."
Showalter talks to McLouth about possible return
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Orioles have had continuous discussions in terms of bringing back free agent Nate McLouth, and manager Buck Showalter spoke with the outfielder on Tuesday afternoon.
"We'd like to have Nolan [Reimold] and Nate playing and healthy," said Showalter, who noted that the plan was for the organization to touch base with McLouth's camp again on Tuesday. "But you have to have contingency things set up in case it doesn't happen.
"You value a player a certain way, and all of a sudden, somebody comes in and values him completely different from the way you do, you have to have the ability to say no. I think Nate understands that as much as we'd like him back, but he has to do what's best for him and his family, just like we have to do what's best for the Baltimore Orioles."
McLouth had a .268/.342/.435 line in 55 games for Baltimore last season, emerging as the club's starting left fielder and providing a spark from the leadoff spot with Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis on the disabled list. Signed to a Minor League contract after being released by the Pirates, McLouth has said before that he would like to return to Baltimore.
Speaking of returns, Showalter said the club has not ruled out another go-around for first baseman Mark Reynolds, who was non-tendered on Friday. Reynolds is a free agent, along with Omar Quintanilla, who was also non-tendered, and the O's aren't eliminating either player as an option for next season. Executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said the decision to let Reynolds walk was because they couldn't fit him in the club's payroll. Showalter said he was "hopeful" the team would be able to reach an agreement to fit Reynolds into its 2013 plans.
Without Reynolds, the Orioles -- who are looking at potential external options at first base -- would turn to Chris Davis as an in-house solution. Showalter said he has been in contact with Davis to let him know where things stand.
"I told him he was going to get an opportunity potentially," Showalter said of Davis, who also played right field and was the designated hitter last season. "I think Chris is capable of doing an above average defender at a lot of places. He's very athletic for a big, strong guy. And I think the big thing is he wants to be a good defender. He doesn't want to be in the DH spot unless that's the way it best dictates our lineup that night."
Machado fully recovered from bout with meningitis
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Orioles infielder Manny Machado was hospitalized with meningitis last month, but is fully recovered and has resumed his offseason workouts.
"He was in good hands," executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said of Machado, who had a brief hospital stay and alerted the team's training staff in a timely manner. "He dealt with it swiftly and directly."
Machado hit .262/.294/.445 in 191 at-bats in his rookie season, making the transition from shortstop to third base easily despite jumping from Double-A to the Majors.
"I talked to him a couple times, and he's doing well and doing a full workout," manager Buck Showalter said of the 20-year-old infielder. "He's going to go in and get an opportunity to be our third baseman potentially, but he's got to earn it."
Pedro Strop will pitch in the World Baseball Classic, while Wei-Yin Chen has not officially declined, according to Showalter. Chen took to his Facebook page earlier this winter to say he wasn't going to pitch, and Jim Johnson is not likely to participate. Speaking of Chen, he is one of about eight guys working out in California with special assistant Brady Anderson.
The vacant third-base coach position is expected to be filled by the end of the week. There's a lot going on at these Meetings and Showalter said he wants to sit down with Duquette in Baltimore and iron it out. It's down to a few candidates for a job that has gotten a lot of interest. DeMarlo Hale, who left the job to become Toronto's bench coach, even put forth a suggestion.
The Orioles have announced that their exhibition game March 6 will be played against Team Spain at 1:05 p.m. ET at Ed Smith Stadium, as opposed to Team Brazil, which was originally listed. Season-ticket holders at Ed Smith Stadium will receive complimentary tickets as part of their season package to the World Baseball Classic exhibition game, while all single game tickets will go on sale Jan. 26. Prices for the Classic exhibition will be $15 for infield and lower box (regularly $24 and $22), $10 for reserved grandstand (regularly $18) and $5 for the left field pavilion (regularly $16). For more information on the World Baseball Classic fans may visit www.worldbaseballclassic.com. Fans interested in season plans, five-game flex packs or group tickets at Ed Smith Stadium may call 941-893-6300.
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.