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Showalter would like Roberts to return

Showalter would like Roberts to return

Showalter would like Roberts to return play video for Showalter would like Roberts to return

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.

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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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