How close did the Orioles come to losing the rights to high school shortstop Manny Machado?
Scouting director Joe Jordan estimated last night that the Orioles were down to the last three minutes before the midnight deadline.
“I think it was about one minute,” said president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail.
Three of Scott Boras’ clients hadn’t agreed to contract terms as we entered the final 15 minutes - Machado, first overall pick Bryce Harper and seventh overall pick Matt Harvey. Boras was tied up in the Harper talks, so Jordan dealt with Boras assistant Scott Chiamparino.
“You had to do not only the signing bonus, but the year that the contract started in and different provisions in the contract,” MacPhail said.
The Orioles and Machado reached an agreement with very little room to spare. They hope to schedule his physical during this homestand and send him to the minor league complex in Sarasota. They’d also like to assign him to one of their affiliates, but that’s not a certainty with the seasons winding down.
“Obviously, you always want to sign players, particularly when you draft as high as we did last year. And filling a position that’s an organizational need is always very important to us,” MacPhail said.
Shifting gears, MacPhail isn’t commenting on players who passed through waivers or were claimed this month. It’s believed that Michael Gonzalez cleared, but Luke Scott was claimed and pulled back.
Typically, about 40 percent of the players run through waivers are going to get claimed, and the Orioles were no exception.
The chances of the Orioles making a trade before Aug. 31, the deadline for teams to set their playoff rosters, are “slim and none,” MacPhail said.