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O's, Showalter possibly closing in on deal

O's, Showalter possibly closing in on deal

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BALTIMORE -- The Orioles met with managerial candidate Buck Showalter again this weekend, adding to the increasing speculation that he is the favorite to fill the full-time role vacated by Dave Trembley on June 4.

There has been no formal offer extended to Showalter, according to a Major League source, and the Orioles are not expected to make any announcements over the All-Star break, leaving the end of the week as the earliest scenario for any announcement.

FOXSports.com, which was the first to report the weekend meeting, said on Sunday that the two sides were "close to terms." The Orioles have not confirmed any of these reports concerning Showalter and the former manager told MLB.com in a text message on Monday that "nothing is imminent" and right now he feels "lucky to be considered" for the position.

Currently a baseball analyst for ESPN, Showalter has met with Orioles brass several times, including a nearly three-hour interview on June 23. President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail, who is notoriously close to the vest, has opted to take the most low-key stance possible, and has not publicly commented on any of the O's candidates.

MacPhail has said previously that it is a two-step process -- reaching out to those outside of baseball first and then those who are already employed -- but a source close to the situation said the Orioles will likely skip the second step if Showalter takes the position. Given that Showalter has experience and is well known for helping to build young organizations, he appears, on paper at least, to be exactly what a beleaguered 29-59 Orioles squad needs.

Showalter was named Manager of the Year twice -- in 1994 and 2004 -- has compiled an 882-833 record in 11 years with the Yankees, D-backs and Rangers and is credited in many circles for jump-starting the Yankees dynasty of the 1990s. His last year managing was '06, with the Rangers.

Interim manager Juan Samuel -- who has directed the O's to a 14-20 record since taking over -- is expected to remain in charge when the club returns to action after the break on Friday. How much longer he'll stay on thereafter is still unknown.

Prior to Sunday's 4-1 win over the Rangers, Samuel said he'd have nothing but good thoughts about his experience managing the O's if it were to end soon.

"If the decision is going to be made, there's nothing but positive things for me to take out of this experience," he said. "I have enjoyed it very, very much. And you have to give it to those guys. The guys have stayed in there for me."

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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