The Orioles are expected to announce today the list of non-roster players they will invite to spring training, and there still is the possibility that veteran left-hander Mike Flanagan will be on it.
General manager Roland Hemond confirmed that the non-roster invitees would be announced today, but he said the Flanagan situation was still "up in the air."
Flanagan, who was released after the 1992 season, has been working out regularly at Camden Yards this winter in the hope of continuing his pitching career. He said last night that hope still remains, but he is taking nothing for granted.
"There are on-going talks," he said, "but I can't get ahead of myself. I hope something happens, and yes, I'm pleased with what is going on."
The 41-year-old left-hander struggled to an 8.05 ERA in 42 appearances out of the bullpen last year, but most of the earned runs he surrendered came in a handful of those games.
The list of non-roster invitees apparently will include several of the minor-league pitchers who were signed during the off-season as well as last year's first-round draft choice, outfielder Jeffrey Hammonds.
Sanderson signing unlikely
Orioles president Larry Lucchino confirmed a Washington Post reportthat the club spoke last week with the agent for free-agent pitcher Scott Sanderson, but it appears unlikely that the veteran right-hander will be donning an Orioles uniform in 1993.
Sanderson, 36, was 12-11 in 33 starts for the New York Yankees last year, but his 4.93 ERA in 1992 might explain why he is one of only two experienced starting pitchers who remain available on the free-agent market. The other is right-hander Walt Terrell, who was 7-10 with a 5.20 ERA.
The Orioles are expected to audition several candidates for the fifth starter role this spring, including minor-leaguers Anthony Telford, Steve Searcy, Jamie Moyer and John O'Donoghue. Sanderson is a 15-year veteran who could add experience to the young staff, but his effectiveness is in question after a season in which he exceeded his career ERA by nearly 1 1/2 runs.
"There were some discussions with Sanderson's agent," Lucchino said, "but there is nothing to report. His representative [Dick Moss] talked to us, but he was talking to some other clubs at the same time."
Club officials appear to be satisfied with the makeup of the 1993 roster, which includes newcomers Harold Baines and Harold Reynolds, as well as Rule V draftee Sherman Obando. The fifth-starter role remains open, but it is not a full-time position in manager Johnny Oates' blueprint for the coming season.
Lucchino said that the Orioles will continue to scour the major leagues for possible help right into spring training.
"We're always looking," he said, "but there is no news to report."