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Decision From Free Agent Cintron Expected Soon

Free agent shortstop Alex Cintron could be joining the Orioles -- or he could not. The team doesn't expect to know one way or the other for sure until position players report.
Free agent shortstop Alex Cintron could be joining the Orioles -- or he could not. The team doesn't expect to know one way or the other for sure until position players report. (Mike Blake - Reuters)

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By Marc Carig
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, February 18, 2008

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Feb. 17 -- With the arrival of position players looming, the Baltimore Orioles should know today whether they will be able to sign free agent shortstop Alex Cintron, who, according to team president Andy MacPhail, is still weighing offers from other clubs.

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"We've had conversations with his representatives and they've got a couple of different options available to them," said MacPhail, who offered Cintr¿n a contract earlier this week. "I would expect they would make a decision here any day now."

Cintron, a 29-year-old switch hitter who has played with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago White Sox, has a career .277 batting average. He would be expected to provide competition to several players, including Luis Hernandez, who are vying to replace traded shortstop Miguel Tejada.

Meantime, MacPhail acknowledged that Baltimore may be looking to add a few more players, though he said only the negotiations with Cintron have advanced to a serious stage.

"You always have different conversations with guys that are out there, but there's nothing at this point that is really into the stage where you're throwing offers back and forth," MacPhail said.

Ray Throws, but Isn't Close

Closer Chris Ray, who is recovering from elbow ligament replacement surgery, looked strong while throwing 25 pitches in his second bullpen throwing session. But Manager Dave Trembley cautioned that Ray's projection of an August return might be too optimistic. "I think it's great that he has that goal in mind," Trembley said. "I think it says a lot about him. But with all due respect, he's got a ways to go and we're going to have to be very careful with him." . . . Reliever Danys Baez, who is recovering from the same surgery, has been granted permission to do rehabilitation work near his home in Miami, sparing him the drive to Fort Lauderdale.


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