O's president Andy MacPhail tonight confirmed for MASNsports.com the club's continuing interest in Dominican shortstop Miguel Angel Sano.
He said the club has not yet made Sano an offer, but that could be coming. He also confirmed the club has interest in Sano, even if it is proven that he is older than 16.
"We have some interest," MacPhail stated. "We've followed the player. There is always risk in evaluating players. There is probably greater risk in these cases, but it's something we're looking into."
Have the O's been negotiating with Sano?
"What is your definition of negotiating? If it is making an offer, the answer is no. If it is talking to the player, than yes."
MacPhail indicated that the Major League Baseball investigation of Sano will not be able to conclude for certain that the player is currently 16 years old.
"The fact that their investigation comes back inconclusive doesn't expedite things. I don't know whether that's official (with MLB) but that is where it is headed."
MacPhail said the O's have not begun their own investigation into Sano's age.
"I don't know that we could do anything more than Major League baseball could."
MacPhail indicated even if it were found that Sano was, say 19, the O's might still have interest.
"I don't think the age variance (possibility) would ever get to the point where we'd have zero interest. Our scouts like the player and feel he has considerable tools."
Will the O's make Sano an offer soon?
"We''ll see, someone might make him a proposal that exceeds what we are going to do and it all might become moot."
MacPhail said the club's interest in Sano is based on Sano only. They are not pursuing the player to make a big signing to boost the team's profile in the Dominican Republic.