While the Orioles scouting director Joe Jordan is making some progress in signing some of the O's top ten draft picks, progress continues to move slowly when it comes to their top pick, prep shortstop Manny Machado.
The O's selected Machado with the third pick in the draft. In a July 23 MASNsports.com article, Jordan said contract talks have begun with Machado and the sides have exchanged dollar figures.
But since that time, no real progress has been made. That is not unexpected as most of the top picks don't sign until late in the process. The deadline to sign draft picks is August 16th.
"There is not a whole lot going on," Jordan said of talks with Machado and his representative, Scott Boras. "It's crazy the way this process works. We're engaged in it but it's hard to get one side engaged but I still fully expect to get it done. For now, we are trying to cross some other things off the list first.
"We have backup plans all through our draft. I really to some degree, you can feel like you are held hostage and at some point you have to go in another direction. Hopefully the next week will bring some answers."
Jordan said he remains optimistic Machado will eventually sign with the Orioles.
"Oh yeah, I'm fine. The fact we have these major showcases going on kind of distracts you and it doesn't consume your every thought. We're really not all that far away from where we thought we'd be."
Perhaps to avoid an injury this late in the process, Machado has stopped playing for his summer team.
Baseball America lists the recommended slot signing bonus for the third pick in round one as $3,000,000. Machado is expected to command a bonus larger than that.
According to Baseball America, just three of the first 14 first-round picks have signed:
*KC agreed to a 2.75 million dollar deal with SS Christian Colon, taken fourth.
*Oak agreed to a 2.0 million dollar deal with OF Michael Choice, taken 10th.
*The White Sox agreed to a 1.65 million dollar deal with P Chris Sale, taken 13th.