SARASOTA, Fla. – Infielder Ryan Flaherty, the former Deering High standout, will start his second season with the Baltimore Orioles, who are close to finalizing their 25-man roster.

“Yeah, it’s definitely exciting news,” said Flaherty, who, as a Rule 5 pick last year was with the Orioles all season but can be sent to the minors this year. “To be able to help the team out, it was kind of my goal coming into camp, and I’m excited to get the opportunity.”

Infielder Wilson Betemit’s knee injury clinched the roster spot for Flaherty.

The Orioles have one decision remaining. Steve Pearce and Conor Jackson are still competing to be the final first base-outfield reserve.

Pitcher Freddy Garcia agreed to a minor league contract with Baltimore, five days after he was released by San Diego.

Right-hander Jake Arrieta will start the Orioles’ home opener April 5.


ATHLETICS: Oakland designated infielder Daric Barton and left-hander Travis Blackley for assignment.


DIAMONDBACKS: First baseman Paul Goldschmidt and the team are close to agreement on a $32 million, five-year contract that would run from 2014-18, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.


ROCKIES: Colorado designated catcher Ramon Hernandez for assignment and could be responsible for paying him $3.2 million this year if it is unable to trade him.


YANKEES: First baseman Mark Teixeira hopes to get the protective brace on his injured right wrist removed Monday.


ROYALS: Miguel Tejada, a former AL MVP, made Kansas City’s opening-day roster as a utility infielder.


BRAVES: Reliever Jonny Venters will have his ailing left elbow examined by Dr. James Andrews.


METS: Third baseman David Wright summed up the mood of the team after learning left-hander Johan Santana is likely to miss his second season in three years because of a shoulder injury, saying it’s “shocking” and “disheartening.”


BLUE JAYS: Starter Mark Buehrle looked sharp as Toronto beat Philadelphia, 1-0.