Orioles hire Mark Connor as pitching coach

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The Orioles have hired a pitching coach.

According to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, the O’s agreed to a contract last week with Mark Connor, a 61-year-old veteran of the pitching coach profression.  He is good friends with manager Buck Showalter and the two worked side-by-side for the Yankees, Diamondbacks and Rangers during the 90s and 2000s.  Connor has spent 35 years as a baseball coach.  He was most recently a special assistant in the Rangers’ player development department.

The Orioles continue to fill out their 2011 coaching staff.  Jim Presley will serve as hitting coach, Wayne Kirby will handle first base and Rick Adair is locked in as the club’s bullpen coach.  Showalter is trying to lure in Don Wakamatsu to be his bench coach and Juan Samuel has not yet committed to coaching third base but is expected to.

O’s president Andy MacPhail told the Baltimore Sun that he is “pleased” with the current crop of coaches.  It’s a nice roster of names and the Orioles do have a nice level of young talent, but we’ll see how it all works out in the ever-tough American League East.

Report: Momentum in talks between Mariners, Jon Jay

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that there is some momentum in talks between the Mariners and free agent outfielder Jon Jay.

Jay, 32, hit .296/.374/.375 in 433 plate appearances with the Cubs last season, which is adequate. He’s heralded more for his defense and his ability to play all three outfield spots.

The Mariners are losing center fielder Jarrod Dyson to free agency and likely don’t want to rely on Guillermo Heredia next season, hence the interest in Jay. The free agent class for center fielders is otherwise relatively weak.