The Orioles have already agreed to terms with 36 draft picks and may add more before this day is over.
But, apparently one they will not get is pitcher Dixon Anderson of Cal, who was drafted by the O’s in round six with the 178th overall selection.
A draft-eligible sophomore, the 6’5”, 225-pound Anderson went 5-4, 5.17 in 17 games, 13 starts, for the Golden Bears, this past season.
O’s scouting director Joe Jordan said a deal did not get done and Anderson will likely return to college for another season.
While it’s not officially not done until the midnight deadline passes, I asked Jordan if there was any chance something could change and the O’s would continue negotiations with Anderson?
“Zero chance,” he said last night.
Could Anderson come back to you today to re-open talks?
“I don’t believe there is anything we can revisit at this time. We’ve got guidelines and a budget and I just think this is one that didn’t work out.
“It’s not anything to do with this kid mis-representing their position. They were very up front with what their expectations were and this is not about them telling us something and then they changed. Not at all.
“We decided, I decided, on the second day of the draft I wanted to try to do this and try and work it out. It just didn’t happen. No fault of theirs. They’ve got their expectations, I’m not going to meet them. So, he’s going back to Cal.
“The number that they put out before the draft was substantial. They did come down some, off of that original figure. I never got in that price range with them. They didn’t do anything to mislead me at all.”
So if Jordan knew the price tag would be substantial, as he said, when they drafted Anderson, why didn’t the O’s put up the money to get this done?
“It’s a valid question. When you are in the draft and you look at your board and you see a guy up there that, ability-wise, you like enough to take a run at it, you make a decision. You hope you don’t have to do it in the second or third round.
“It’s the same thing that we had to do with (third-round pick) Dan Klein. Dan, in the end, came down and got into a range where we were able to do business and we did that. It happens every year, there are always good players that fall in the draft.
“On all these guys, there’s an area I’m willing to go to where I feel like I can look at Andy (MacPhail) and our owner and say this is money that is wisely invested. I just didn’t feel I could do that with where they were.”
Meanwhile, as of last night, Jordan did not sound optimistic of the O’s signing seventh-round pick, lefty pitcher Matt Bywater of Pepperdine.
“Nothing has really changed. As things stand right now, I think he’s going back to Pepperdine.”
Could talks resume today that could change that?
“I hope that happens because I really would like to sign this player. But, again, I really don’t know where that one is. I’m not optimistic.”
But he hasn’t close the door on a deal just yet.
“I don’t think that it’s 100 percent closed. I’ve tried to be up front with them as far as what I’m going to be able to do. They have been as well.
“I do think there is an interest on both sides, but is it enough to get a deal done, I don’t know.”
Jordan was hopeful last night that the O’s could come to terms with high school pitcher Alexander Gonzalez, their 11th-round pick.
“We felt like we had something done here. It may be nothing more than a young player getting cold feet, I don’t know. It’s 50-50.”
The O’s also have had recent contract talks with pitcher Austin Urban from Richland High School in Pennsylvania. Their 27th-round pick, Urban has a college commitment to Penn State.
“We’re negotiating with them. It’s one that we’re kind of working off what happens above him, but we are in conversations with Austin and his family. That will be a decision that we make tomorrow (now today).”
Jordan said that negotiations with top pick Manny Machado will likely not impact whether they add other players today.
“I honestly believe that we’ll have work done (Monday) evening by the time we really get involved with Manny and that negotiation.
“We’ve have a couple of things out here that, you know at the last minute, we can enter them if we can. But, I feel like, by Monday afternoon or early evening we’ll be where we need to be leading into the evening with Manny.”