O's have unfinished business in spring

  • The Orioles are coming off an 81-81 season in 2015. That followed a 96-win season in 2014.
  • They retained several key free agents, but it cost them more than $200 million.

SARASOTA, Fla. — The Baltimore Orioles began spring training hoping that they may add even more quality players after a productive offseason where they retained three of their mainstays.

The Orioles finished with an 81-81 record in 2015, and they had some pivotal free agents ready to leave. But, Baltimore extended a $15.8 million qualifying offer to catcher Matt Wieters, signed reliever Darren O'Day to a four-year, $31 million contract and gave first baseman Chris Davis a team record, seven-year, $161 million deal.

The Baltimore Orioles may again rely on Buck Showalter to perform some managerial magic to get the team back to the American League playoffs.

"I really like the things we did, bringing our people that were already here back. I think they were better than about anything we could get out there from somebody else," manager Buck Showalter said.

"There are some people here that may not be front and center on a headline that may be by the time we're done."

Baltimore might be interested in another starting pitcher — Yovani Gallardo, who was with Texas a year ago — to replace Wei-Yin Chen, who left for Miami as a free agent. And, they've also been pursuing free agent outfielder Dexter Fowler, who spent 2015 with the Chicago Cubs.

Both would require the Orioles surrendering draft choices.

Showalter said the team's players and coaches haven't been pestering him about possible additions.

"It's hardly been brought up — mostly because they know that I don't know," Showalter said.

Dan Duquette, Baltimore's executive vice president of baseball operations, is scheduled to arrive in Sarasota on Friday.

For starters, O's focus on pitching

Arriving in Florida: Pitchers and catchers were scheduled to report Thursday morning, and about half the 58 players who are on the team's roster arrived for an informal workout.

"It's pretty crowded," Showalter said. "They enjoy coming here. They enjoy being around each other, great facility, the weather's good."

Second baseman Jonathan Schoop, shortstop J.J. Hardy and South Korean outfielder Hyun-soo Kim, who signed a two-year $7 million contract in December, were early arrivals.

A year ago, the Orioles were fresh from winning 96 games and advancing to the AL Championship Series. Twelve months later, they're trying to remain relevant, but they're without huge medical issues.

Wieters was returning from Tommy John surgery last February, Davis still had a game left on a 25-game suspension for using amphetamines without a prescription and Manny Machado was recovering from his second knee surgery in as many years.

"We probably had the shortest medical discussion since I've been here," Showalter said.

Baltimore not only has Davis, who led the majors in home runs in 2013 and 2015, Machado and Adam Jones, who missed 26 games because of injuries last season. Add slugger Mark Trumbo, who was obtained in a trade with Seattle in December, and there's a lineup with the potential for lots of home runs — and strikeouts.

''It's always to be continued. Whether it's during the season from our farm system. You don't ever look at this like it's a finished product. It's like you're assembling people who play roles in a play that opens up in April. That's ongoing," Showalter said.