Joe Jordan comments on the signing of Coffey

O's scouting director Joe Jordan has confirmed that the O's tonight have finalized a contract with their 22nd-round draft pick, Houston high school left-handed pitcher Cameron Coffey.

Reports out of Houston and from Baseball America say Coffey will receive a signing bonus of $990,000, more than some late first-round picks got this year.

Jordan would not confirm the amount of the signing bonus but it is reportedly one of the largest bonuses ever given a player taken outside the first ten rounds of the draft.

Coffey had Tommy John surgery on his left elbow in March. Dr. James Andrews of Alabama performed the procedure.

Jordan signed Coffey despite the surgery.

"I had the full support of Andy MacPhail and Mr. Angelos on this signing. I saw him a week before his injury and really liked what I saw. We had him rated among the top two rounds in terms of his talent.

"He and his dad came to Baltimore a few weeks ago and we talked a lot. He was someone we were targeting all along, really independent of other things. We are comfortable with his surgery and familiar with Dr. Andrews."

Before the procedure, the 6'5" Coffey could hit the mid 90's on the radar gun.

Right now he is just beginning to throw off of flat ground and is early in his rehab. He will report to Sarasota, Florida on Monday where he will continue to rehab while watched by O's coaches and instructors.

"We expect he can pitch next season," Jordan said. "By then he will be 12 months out of surgery and many can pitch at the 12-month mark. Of course, we'll have to see how far along he is at that time next spring.

"He's a very mature kid and we've been at some of his workouts and rehab. We did our due diligence on this player."

Jordan was asked if the O's expect any issues with MLB officials for agreeing to a bonus so far over the recommended amount for a player taken that deep in the draft.

"There should be no issue. This player warranted what we did."

Jordan admits the Orioles "assume some risk" in taking a player coming off surgery, but also notes the high percentage of players that make full comebacks from that procedure.

He added the O's expect to sign more draft picks before Monday's deadline.

"We have some more money to spend," he said.

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