O's 7th-round pick, Matt Bywater, still open to signing

Pepperdine pitcher Matt Bywater, who was drafted in round seven by the Orioles, said he still could sign with the team, although it hasn't happened yet.

"We are still in negotiations," Bywater, a 21-year-old lefty said this afternoon from his home in Thousand Oaks, California. "It's not a done deal on either side."

When asked if he is still open to coming to terms with the club he said "completely open."

I asked Bywater if the sides were close or far apart in their negotiations.

"There is still room, we are aways away but have made some progress, we're getting there."

Bywater was 6-5, 2.40 as a junior at Pepperdine this past season and fanned 83 over 97 2/3 innings. In 13 starts, he had five complete games and four shutouts.

Bywater was taken in round seven as the 208th overall selection.

"I slipped farther than I thought, but was still excited just to be drafted."

With the deadline to sign draft picks coming up at midnight Monday night, the O's have not signed four of their top 15-round selections.

They include top pick Manny Machado and Bywater along with 6th-round pick, pitcher Dixon Anderson and 11th-round pick, pitcher Alexander Gonzalez.

Scouting director Joe Jordan said of Anderson and Bywater, "I'm not overly optimistic that we sign both of them," in an interview with MASNSports.com earlier this week.

Today, the Baltimore Sun reported that Jordan said Anderson was headed back to college at Cal and he said Bywater was likely to return to Pepperdine.

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