Orioles interested in Padres outfielders Seth Smith, Will Venable

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Baltimore is looking for outfield help following the departures of Nick Markakis and Nelson Cruz. San Diego has excess outfielders following the arrivals of Justin Upton, Matt Kemp, and Wil Myers.

Seems like a good trade match, right? Maybe.

According to Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun “dialogue continues” between the Orioles and Padres, with Seth Smith and Will Venable being Baltimore’s targets.

Smith and Venable are both left-handed hitters and Orioles manager Buck Showalter has shown himself to be a fan of platooning, so they could be especially good fits in Baltimore.

Smith hit .266 with 12 homers and an .807 OPS in 136 games this past season, which is strong production while calling pitcher-friendly Petco Park home. Venable struggled this year, but was a consistently above-average hitter from 2008-2013 and can play center field if needed.

Joe Girardi steps down as manager of USA Baseball

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Baseball is an Olympic sport once again and USA Baseball begins the road to qualifying for the 2020 Games in just a couple of weeks. They’ll be doing it with a new manager, though, as current team USA manager Joe Girardi has stepped down from the role in order to concentrate on his quest to return to managing in the big leagues.

Girardi has interviewed for the Cubs job already and is candidate for the openings with the Mets and the Phillies. His stepping down from the Olympic job suggests that he thinks he stands a pretty good chance of getting one of the seven current openings around the game. Or, at the very least, that he wishes to show clubs with openings that he’s serious.

Girardi will be replaced by Scott Brosius, who was poised to be Girardi’s bench coach with Team USA.

The team begins training in Arizona on October 21. It begins playing qualifier games in early November in Mexico. Eventually, the 2020 Olympic Games will feature a six-nation field.