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Designated hitter position remains unsettled

SARASOTA, Fla. -- One of the Orioles' holes this season is the designated hitter position, and while there's no front-runner, manager Buck Showalter isn't necessarily penciling that spot in to be a platoon.

"I'm not going to start telling somebody they can't do something," he said. "You always try to create a role where everybody knows, 'OK, in this situation, this is where I'm going to be asked to contribute.' That's one reason why it kind of works out that way with a lot of places.

"For instance, Delmon Young. This guy has hit left and right-handed pitchers. You go right down the board, if you look at Henry Urrutia's numbers in the Minor Leagues. Steve Pearce. We've got seven or eight of them we are considering… I wouldn't say going into it we've already made that decision. We'll see. We got some guys with a track record of hitting both of them."

There's also the possibility the Orioles add a DH, possibly free agent Kendrys Morales, or a late-spring trade.

"It's one thing to have the ability to acquire players during the offseason, monetarily or whatever, but it's also a big feather in your hat to have the ability to do it later in the spring," Showalter said. "Because what happens when you get down in this area here [late March], a lot of people are seeing what their club looks like and they realize they have some excess.[I] can't tell you how many times over the years, not just here, there's been somebody like that available, but it didn't fit into your payroll. So there's always an advantage to having some flexibility with that."

The Orioles' payroll could be around $100 million, meaning there's money available to add another player or two before Opening Day.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli.
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