Showalter talks to McLouth about possible return

Showalter talks to McLouth about possible return

Showalter talks to McLouth about possible return
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Orioles have had continuous discussions in terms of bringing back free agent Nate McLouth, and manager Buck Showalter spoke with the outfielder on Tuesday afternoon.

"We'd like to have Nolan [Reimold] and Nate playing and healthy," said Showalter, who noted that the plan was for the organization to touch base with McLouth's camp again on Tuesday. "But you have to have contingency things set up in case it doesn't happen.

"You value a player a certain way, and all of a sudden, somebody comes in and values him completely different from the way you do, you have to have the ability to say no. I think Nate understands that as much as we'd like him back, but he has to do what's best for him and his family, just like we have to do what's best for the Baltimore Orioles."

McLouth had a .268/.342/.435 line in 55 games for Baltimore last season, emerging as the club's starting left fielder and providing a spark from the leadoff spot with Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis on the disabled list. Signed to a Minor League contract after being released by the Pirates, McLouth has said before that he would like to return to Baltimore.

Speaking of returns, Showalter said the club has not ruled out another go-around for first baseman Mark Reynolds, who was non-tendered on Friday. Reynolds is a free agent, along with Omar Quintanilla, who was also non-tendered, and the O's aren't eliminating either player as an option for next season. Executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said the decision to let Reynolds walk was because they couldn't fit him in the club's payroll. Showalter said he was "hopeful" the team would be able to reach an agreement to fit Reynolds into its 2013 plans.

Without Reynolds, the Orioles -- who are looking at potential external options at first base -- would turn to Chris Davis as an in-house solution. Showalter said he has been in contact with Davis to let him know where things stand.

"I told him he was going to get an opportunity potentially," Showalter said of Davis, who also played right field and was the designated hitter last season. "I think Chris is capable of doing an above average defender at a lot of places. He's very athletic for a big, strong guy. And I think the big thing is he wants to be a good defender. He doesn't want to be in the DH spot unless that's the way it best dictates our lineup that night."