Baseball America’s Jim Callis, the man who seems to break the news on most top draft picks when they sign and provides their bonus information, thinks the Orioles are likely to sign their three remaining draft targets.
The O’s are said to be still negotiating with top pick Dylan Bundy, second-round pick Jason Esposito and sixth-rounder Nick Delmonico.
“I think they are going to get all three done. It’s just that MLB is having the teams play this slower than ever,” Callis said.
“Dylan Bundy is a guy that is going to get in the neighborhood of the record deal for a high school pitcher, which is $7 million for Josh Beckett and Rick Porcello. If that is the case, that number is not going to come out or get done until very late this evening.
“A lot of the college juniors, and that is what Jason Esposito is, have pretty much been offered slot or just a little over slot to this point. I would anticipate he will get done at some point today.
“Delmonico, the more I talk to people, there is just a sense that he, too, will sign. I don’t know what that price tag is going to be. But it could be high enough that that is a later evening type of deal too.
“I would think we’d hear about Esposito first, Delmonico second and Bundy very close to the deadline,” Callis said.
I asked Callis why Major League Baseball seems to want teams to hold off to the last minute in signing some of the top picks.
“It is a misguided notion, I think, that they just don’t want guys to sign deals that they don’t think are favorable to the teams and have other players use them as leverage. This year they are trying to keep the bonuses quieter than ever. To me, it’s an ill-fated strategy, which doesn’t really keep bonuses down and can cost teams a few players in the long run,” he said.
Callis was the first to report the Orioles’ signing of high school pitcher Zach Davies, their 26th-round pick. Around 1 a.m. today, he posted on Twitter that the Orioles had signed the right-hander from Mesquite High in Arizona to a $575,000 bonus.
Here is Callis’ take on Davies:
“Davies is interesting. In our scouting report on him we went the obvious route and made the Mike Leake comparison, because he’s a 6-foot right-hander that is very athletic. He plays the infield when he doesn’t pitch and was committed to Arizona State.
“It’s not big-time stuff, but it’s a tremendous feel for pitching and it’s four solid pitches. Kind of like the Mike Leake starter kit, minus some of the late life on Leake’s fastball. Real interesting kid they got done for $575 (thousand) yesterday.”
Later today: I’ll get Callis’ take on the talents of Esposito and Delmonico.