Russell likely as next coaching hire (updated); Matusz finishes tied for fifth in A.L. ROY balloting
Former Pittsburgh Pirates manager John Russell hasn't worked out all the final details with Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail, but he has been invited to join manager Buck Showalter's 2011 staff, according to club sources.
Russell still has to work out contract details with MacPhail, who is currently at baseball's general manager meetings in Orlando, Fla. And as we know from how the Juan Samuel situation worked out, nothing is final until all the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed.
One source said that "things are moving in that direction" when asked about Russell's hiring, but he cautioned that it wasn't a fait accompli.
Russell would likely be the bench coach, but it's not impossible he will serve as Showalter's third base coach. That will depend largely on the final hiring for Showalter's staff.
That hiring will likely have an infield background as the Orioles don't currently have an infield coach on staff. The two front-runners are believed to be former New York Mets manager Willie Randolph and New York Yankees third base coach Rob Thomson.
Russell was in Baltimore last Friday to interview with Showalter and team officials at the warehouse.
A former big league catcher, Russell served three seasons as Pirates manager before he was fired at the end of this past season. He'll be asked to help mentor young catcher Matt Wieters.
He compiled a 186-299 record (.384 winning percentage) while at the helm of the Pirates.
Russell was a first-round pick of the Philadelphia Phillies' in 1982 and played parts of 10 seasons in the majors, five with the Phillies, one with the Atlanta Braves and the final four with the Texas Rangers.
In other news, Orioles' left-hander Brian Matusz finished tied for fifth in American League Rookie of the Year voting. He got three third-place votes. Texas Rangers closer Neftali Feliz won the award, followed by Detroit Tigers outfielder Austin Jackson.
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