SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Orioles continue to scour the free-agent market, with executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette saying on Sunday that he's fairly confident the club will add a left-handed-hitting outfielder -- likely via free agency -- to the mix soon.Duquette, who inked righty Andrew Cashner to
SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Orioles continue to scour the free-agent market, with executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette saying on Sunday that he's fairly confident the club will add a left-handed-hitting outfielder -- likely via free agency -- to the mix soon.
Duquette, who inked righty Andrew Cashner to a two-year deal with an option for 2020 last week, reiterated that the Orioles are in the market to continue to add to their rotation along with a lefty hitter. The O's are a right-handed-dominant lineup; Chris Davis is the club's only regular who bats exclusively from the left side.
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The number of lefty outfielders still available is in the double digits, and it includes former Orioles Alejandro De Aza and Seth Smith. Jonathan Jay and Colby Rasmus, in whom the O's have had previous interest, are also among the group.
The O's are continuing to look for starting pitching to go with Cashner, Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy, and they would like to keep new contracts no longer than three years. The organization has struggled to find value in recent free-agent pitching contracts, inking Yovani Gallardo and Ubaldo Jimenez in recent years.
Beckham looking forward to games
Timothy Beckham is excited for games to start, as the infielder -- who will move from shortstop to third base full-time this season -- is hoping to put some of his early work in action. Beckham, acquired in a Trade Deadline deal from Tampa Bay, was one of the first position players to report to Ed Smith Stadium last week as he tries to get in as many reps as possible at third.
"Definitely excited to get it going [in a game]," said Beckham. "I think people have a lot to look forward to. Whoever is doubting me at third base, I think they've got a lot to look forward to. I'm ready to get out there and play some ball."
Beckham's move, the result of Manny Machado playing shortstop in his final year under team control, leaves him with big shoes to fill. While no one expects him to follow up on Machado, an American League Platinum Glove Award winner at third, the organization is trusting Beckham to help shore up a defense that underperformed in 2017.
"I think between [infield coach] Bobby [Dickerson] and Manny, he's going to have some good people around him to help him. But I think Tim's a guy who's not going to look for excuses to fail," manager Buck Showalter said.
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"He's a lot like Manny. And there'll be some moments. I mean, anybody that would follow Manny, defensively, for the most part, is going to be hard to hold to that standard. But we don't expect him to. I think he's smart enough to know nobody really knows what the future holds for our shortstop position as we go forward."
Machado was equally confident in Beckham, saying that there's nothing the new third baseman needs to do to make Machado's transition easier.
"I'm confident he's an athlete. He can play any position in the field," Machado said of Beckham, who played a few games at third while with Tampa Bay. "I think we have a pretty good team going forward. I'm just excited, and everybody else is excited to get back out there and get this ball rolling. We had a down year last year and people [are] kind of reflecting on it, and I think it will motivate a lot of people in this clubhouse to come back this year and turn some heads."
To some extent, Beckham has already done that. In 50 games for the O's, he batted .306 with 10 homers, 13 doubles and two triples to go with 26 RBIs.
"Tim's been a pleasure to work with since the day he got here," Showalter said. "He's been all about the team. I think he realized the opportunity he's going to have and could potentially have for a long time here if he takes advantage of it."
Susac out for several days
Backup catcher candidate Andrew Susac is expected to be out three to four days with a health issue that caused him to miss Sunday's workout.
"Something we are concerned about," Showalter said. "I'm not sure if it's staph infection yet, but we want to make sure it doesn't get to that. ... It's gotten a little worse, so that's obviously something you don't want to mess around with."
Showalter said the O's are "in the process" of bringing in a few more catchers to camp. Susac was acquired in a trade earlier this month with the Brewers in exchange for a player to be named or cash.
Daniel Fajardo, Armando Araiza and Martin Cervenka, who was taken in the Minor League portion of the Rule 5 Draft, are all candidates to come to big league camp.
Dylan Bundy will start Saturday's game against the Phillies with Rule 5 pick Nestor Cortes, Jr. getting the start in the split-squad game against the Twins at home that night.
Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.