O’s nearing contract extension with manager Buck Showalter

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From Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun comes word that Orioles owner Peter Angelos and manager Buck Showalter have “established parameters for a multi-year contract extension” that should be made official at some point in early-to-mid January.

Showalter, who makes his offseason home near Dallas, met with Angelos several times last week in Baltimore and will return for the finalization of this new long-term pact shortly after the holiday season.

“Because of the trust we have in each other, [Angelos] knows I am not going anywhere,” said Showalter, who is currently locked in only through 2013. “He has expressed interest in doing something and I’ve expressed interest in staying. And we think that can happen.”

Showalter led the Orioles to their first postseason appearance since 1997 this past fall and owns an impressive 196-185 managerial record since taking over the job near the end of the 2010 campaign.

Ronald Acuña batting sixth, playing left field in his Braves debut

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The Braves have made it official, announcing that they have called up top prospect Ronald Acuña. He’ll bat sixth in tonight’s game against the Reds and will start in left field.

Acuña will be wearing number 13, no doubt to honor past Braves luminaries like Adonis Garcia, Nate McLouth, Ozzie Guillen, Juan Eichelberger and Jerry Royster, all of whom have worn the fabled 1 and 3. Feel like he stands a pretty good chance of besting their exploits.

The 20-year-old Acuña was 11-for-his-last-33 with a homer, a double, four walks, and three stolen bases at Triple-A Gwinnett following a slow start. He tore it up in spring training, however, and hit .325/.374/.522 with 21 home runs, 82 RBI, 44 stolen bases, and 88 runs scored in 139 games last season across three levels of the Braves’ minor league system.

The future was delayed a bit, but it’s here now for the Atlanta Braves’ phenom.