Will Jonathan Papelbon remain the Red Sox's closer for the entire 2011 season? Will Mike Quade be the answer to the Cubs' longtime futility in the postseason? Those are just two of the team-related questions heading into spring training.
The Baltimore Orioles have had continuing conversations with ESPN analyst Buck Showalter about their managerial job, another sign that they are closing in on making him an official offer, two sources close to the negotiations have confirmed.
Former Rangers and Mets manager Bobby Valentine, now an analyst with ESPN, has confirmed that he will fly to Florida on Friday night to meet with Marlins executives, including owner Jeffrey Loria, to discuss the club's managerial job.
Former Yankees, Diamondbacks and Rangers manager Buck Showalter, now an analyst with ESPN, met Wednesday with Orioles owner Peter Angelos and club president Andy MacPhail for three hours about their managerial position.