Do the Orioles need to keep the 14th pick?

I can’t make it through another day if I have to read or hear the latest non-update update on Chris Davis. Same holds if I write it.

I’ve reached my quota.

The Orioles offered $150 million over seven years if you factor in deferred money. Agent Scott Boras is seeking a better deal. No team has stepped up with a more lucrative proposal, as far as we know. The Orioles aren’t going to bid against themselves, and they believe $150 million is quite generous.

Please stop me if you’ve heard it. Please stop me if you haven’t.

Managing partner Peter Angelos is willing to take Boras’ calls and keep the lines of communication open. There are others in the organization who gladly would move on and leave the Davis negotiations in their rearview mirror, but Angelos still wants to get a deal done.

davis-watching-homer-at-royals-sidebar.pngBoras is selling Davis as a versatile player who also can move to left field and right field, as well as third base. This is true. However, Davis wants to play first base. He’d rather not be a regular at another position.

The Orioles currently hold the 14th overall pick in the 2016 draft, but they’re willing to surrender it for the right free agent. Can you name the last player they selected at No. 14?

You’ve got a few more seconds. Don’t waste them.

The answer is University of Texas pitcher Beau Hale in 2000. A hard-throwing right-hander who was being compared to Roger Clemens at the time.

Hale, now 37, never made it above the Double-A level due to injuries. He missed the 2003 and 2004 seasons after undergoing surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff and was done after 2007.

The draft isn’t an exact science, and your reminder comes whenever you scan the names of picks in any round. I had some spare time between Davis non-updates and decided to check players taken with the 14th overall selection.

2015: LHP Kolby Allard, San Clemente (Calif.) High, Braves
2014: RHP Tyler Beede, Vanderbilt, Giants
2013: C Reese McGuire, Kentwood (Wash.) High, Pirates
2012: RHP Nick Travieso, Archbishop McCarthy (Fla.) High, Reds
2011: RHP Jose Hernandez, Alonso (Fla.) High, Marlins
2010: RHP Dylan Covey, Maranathy (Calif.) High, Brewers
2009: LHP Matt Purke, Klein (Texas) High, Rangers
2008: OF/RHP Aaron Hicks, Wilson (Calif.) High, Twins
2007: OF Jason Heyward, Henry County (Ga.) High, Braves
2006: OF Travis Snider, Jackson (Wash.) High, Blue Jays
2005: OF Trevor Crowe, Arizona, Indians
2004: 3B Billy Butler, Wolfson (Fla.) High, Royals
2003: RHP Ryan Wagner, Houston, Reds
2002: SS Russ Adams, North Carolina, Blue Jays
2001: 1B/3B Jake Gautreau, Tulane, Padres
2000: RHP Beau Hale, Texas, Orioles
1999: LHP Ty Howington, Hudson’s Bay (Wash.) High, Reds
1998: RHP Jeff Weaver, Fresno State, Tigers
1997: SS Brandon Larson, LSU, Reds
1996: OF Dermal Brown, Marlboro Central (N.Y.) High, Royals
1995: OF Reggie Taylor, Newberry (S.C.) High, Phillies
1994: OF Jason Varitek, Georgia Tech, Mariners
1993: 1B Derrek Lee, El Camino (Calif.) High, Padres
1992: LHP Ron Villone, Massachusetts, Mariners
1991: 1B Cliff Floyd, Thornwood (Ill.) High, Expos
1990: RHP Todd Van Poppel, Martin (Texas) High, Athletics

Go back a few more years and you’ll find first baseman Tino Martinez, selected by the Mariners in 1988 out of Tampa.

Some big hits here and also some major misses.

The Orioles would lose their pick if they signed outfielder Justin Upton or pitcher Yovani Gallardo. They’re still interested in both, though nothing seems close at the moment.

As much as the Orioles need to draft and develop their own players while trying to be fiscally responsible, I’d have no problem giving up the pick for the chance to get a player who could make an immediate impact. A bat for the middle of the lineup. A starter for the top part of the rotation. Go for it and don’t look back.

Is Gallardo worth the 14th overall pick? I guess we’d have to define “worth.” He’s won 102 games and posted a 3.66 ERA in nine seasons. That pick hasn’t done squat and may never amount to a hill of beans.

(A hill of beans may cause you to squat, but I digress ...)

Gallardo’s 1.416 WHIP in 184 1/3 innings last season is a concern, but there’s a hole in the rotation and I’m fine with him filling it if he’s willing to accept a three-year deal. I’m fine with the Orioles doing anything as minicamp begins on Monday. It’s too quiet around here.

Note: I wrote previously that I’ve heard rumblings about Double-A Bowie hitting coach Keith Bodie moving down to Single-A Frederick this year. I’ve also heard that low Single-A Delmarva hitting coach Howie Clark is expected to move up to Bowie.

The Orioles haven’t announced their minor league coaching staffs, so stay tuned.

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