Orioles expected to give Buck Showalter a three-year extension

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We’ve known for a while that the Orioles are nearing an extension with manager Buck Showalter, but now we have some of the specifics. CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that Showalter is expected to get a three-year extension which will carry him through through the 2016 season. His current contract expires after next season.

Multiple reports indicate that Showalter flew from his Dallas-area home yesterday to meet with Orioles owner Peter Angelos, so they are likely working on the finishing touches. The extension could be formally announced next week.

It’s hard to find a more deserving candidate, as Showalter is fresh off leading the Orioles to their first postseason berth since 1997 and owns a 196-185 record since taking over as manager in July of 2010. He was recently named “Marylander of the Year” by the Baltimore Sun, so he’s truly the toast of the town right now.

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.