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Showalter would like Roberts to return

Showalter would like Roberts to return

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter held court with the media Tuesday afternoon, speaking for nearly 30 minutes on a variety of topics, including his desire to bring back second baseman Brian Roberts.

Roberts, who has spent his entire career with the Orioles and is now a free agent, has attracted other suitors in a thin market that's already seen Robinson Cano agree to a 10-year deal with the Mariners. Despite Roberts' difficulty staying on the field the past few seasons, he could help Baltimore fill its hole at leadoff and help stabilize second base, a position executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette indicated earlier this week could go to Ryan Flaherty.

Is Flaherty ready to be a full-time player?

"Could [be]," Showalter said. "The way they do the metrics, they profile him out as hitting 20 home runs at second base and playing pretty good defense. That's a pretty good combo. We have Jemile [Weeks], we have the potential of [prospect] Jonathan Schoop. First and foremost, we have the potential of Brian Roberts. So I like our options."

The switch-hitting Roberts, who will likely get a one-year deal from some team, was able to stay healthy in the season's final few months, and Showalter said in a perfect world the Orioles' roster would include him this spring.

"It's not always a perfect world. It's got to fit for him," Showalter said. "There's some decisions that have to be made when people start changing salaries and fits. ... I think Dan has got it wired, conversations that need to be had will be had."

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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