Buck Showalter may stop managing to replace Andy MacPhail in Orioles front office

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Reports surfaced last month that Andy MacPhail plans to step down as Baltimore’s president of baseball operations after this season is over and Dan Connelly of the Baltimore Sun speculates that manager Buck Showalter may be the Orioles’ choice to replace him.

Showalter previously told Bob Nightengale of USA Today that he’s not interested in being a general manager, but Connelly writes that “it could be his job if he wants it” and “if he’s convinced he can make more of an impact in the front office he’ll take his bad knees and turned ankle and hobble upstairs.”

Connelly writes that serving as manager and president of baseball operations simultaneously is not something Showalter would do, so it likely depends on how much longer the 55-year-old wants to manage. Showalter guided the Orioles to a big second-half turnaround last season, but has gone just 68-92 as the full-time manager this season after also finishing his stint as Rangers manager with back-to-back losing seasons.

Nick Williams has been trying to sell Jake Arrieta on the Phillies

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CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.

Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”

On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”

Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.

Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.