Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that, despite some suggestions that Buck Showalter is all but hired as the Orioles manager, the O’s aren’t going to change their skipper any time soon. At least not through the trade deadline, and possibly longer. Connolly writes “whether a change will be made in August, September, at the end of the season or at all has not yet been determined.”
For his part, Buck Showalter says he’s fine with the timeline and how it’s all being handled. Which makes me wonder if this delay isn’t being done in conjunction with Showalter’s wishes.
You’ll recall that when Showalter took the Arizona job a couple of years before the Diamondbacks even took the field. There was a big to-do at the time about how he wanted all that time to prepare and do all of the Buck Showaltery organizational things he’s noted for. I can’t help but wonder if he has a wink-wink agreement with the O’s in which they’ve told him they’re going to hire him but he doesn’t want to take over in the middle of a lost season. If that were the case even naming him manager for 2011 right now could work to undermine Juan Samuel as he tries to finish 2010 with a bit of dignity.
This is just speculation on my part, of course, but crazier things have happened.
This is more significant for basketball fans than baseball fans, but Magic Johnson is taking over basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers. Dan Feldman over at PBT has the full story on that.
For our purposes, you probably know that Johnson is part of the Dodgers ownership group. Anthony McCullough of the L.A. Times got comment from the Dodgers, saying that despite his new full-time job, his status with the Dodgers will be unchanged:
Maybe I’m alone in this, but I’m not entirely certain what Magic does with the Lakers, so the first clause in Kasten’s comment may be doing most of the heavy lifting here.
Jon Heyman reports that the Nationals are closing in on a deal with catcher Matt Wieters. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that it’s a two-year deal. UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is for two years, at $21 million. There is an opt-out for him after year one. He will get $10 million in 2017 and, if he returns in 2018, he’ll get $11 million.
Wieters was not expected to go this long without signing, but his market, which many thought would be robust, never materialized. The Nats had been rumored to be interested for months, but they were apparently waiting to swoop in late and get what one presumes will be a bargain.
Wieters, 30, finished last season hitting .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI in 464 plate appearances. The Nationals currently have Derek Norris and Jose Lobaton, so who falls where in the catcher fight in Washington is unclear, but one presumes that Wieters getting a two-year deal puts him at the top of the depth chart.