So now we are two days away from the deadline day to sign 2011 draft picks. The Orioles have three main targets to try to get signed. They are first-round pick Dylan Bundy, the Oklahoma high school pitcher, along with second-round selection, Vanderbilt third baseman Jason Esposito and sixth-round pick, high school third baseman Nicky Delmonico.
In recent days I had a feeling the Orioles would get Bundy and one of either Esposito or Delmonico. Now, I sense the Orioles have a good shot to get all three.
They plan to make a run to get all three signed. There was a school of thought out there that in terms of the signing bonus money it will take, they might not be willing to do that, but I have heard that is not the case.
If they get all three, they will have signed all their picks from the first 11 rounds of this draft. They have not gotten their picks from the first 10 rounds all signed since scouting director Joe Jordan’s first draft in 2005 when they signed 12 picks over the first 11 rounds.
Last year, the Orioles signed eight picks among the first 10 rounds, missing out on sixth-round pick, Cal pitcher Dixon Anderson and they did not have a second-round pick.
So far, they have signed 18 picks getting the players they selected in rounds three, four, five, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11, 15, 16, 19, 21, 24, 29, 34, 38, 40 and 42.
Bundy could get a bonus topping the highest ever in Orioles history. Matt Wieters got a $6 million bonus in 2007. Last year, top pick Manny Machado got $5.25 million.
The Orioles have had both Bundy and Esposito in to take physicals. There are two reasons to do this. One, they will need to have it done if they sign. I believe the second reason is protection. If a first or second-round pick doesn’t sign, a club must have had the player in for the physical to get a compensation pick next year.
The Orioles believe the framework is out there for Esposito. He was taken with the 64th overall pick. The 63rd pick was a player that got $625,000 from Arizona and the player taken 65th got a bonus of $750,000 from Kansas City.
The MLB slot recommendation for the 64th pick is $570,600. If signed, it figures that Esposito will top the slot recommendation.
Delmonico is a player said to be seeking at least mid first-round money, if not more. That would likely mean $1.5 millon and some suggest he wants even more than that.
If he gets that, this would not be the first time the Orioles took a player down in the draft and gave him first-round money. In 2007, the Orioles selected pitcher Jake Arrieta in round five and he got a $1.1 million bonus. That was more than a couple of late first-round picks got that year.
This high stakes game where young men that have never played an inning of pro ball get millions is about to come to an end.
As of this minute - and this could change 10 times between now and late-night on Monday - I think the Orioles have a very good shot to sign the remaining big three.