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.

J.D. Martinez tells teams he prefers an outfield role

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Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.

That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.

Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.