As of 11 a.m., the Orioles had not come to terms with top draft pick Kevin Gausman, the right-handed pitcher from LSU. But Orioles officials remain hopeful that they will have an agreement by today’s 5 p.m. deadline.
“I’d be stunned if the O’s didn’t get a deal done with Gausman,” Baseball America’s Jim Callis said. Callis expects an agreement to come at around the allotted $4.2 million for that pick.
Some national media outlets are reporting that the Orioles have made “significant progress” with the Gausman negotiations. A club source said progress has been made, but was not ready to characterize it as “significant.” But the bottom line is they remain confident a deal will get done today. The biggest issue is the signing bonus, but there are some smaller, more minor issues to resolve, as well.
The Orioles are also expected today to make one final offer to their fifth-round pick, high school pitcher Colin Poche, in one last-ditch attempt to sign the left-hander.
Callis also told me that some teams have been under the impression that if they go over their total allotted budget this year to sign their top 10 round picks, that it would eliminate them from next week’s competitive balance lottery. But Callis said that is not the case.
It appears the Orioles have a good chance to add a pick in that lottery Wednesday. A rather complicated formula will determine which teams will be in that lottery, but the Orioles feel they will be. A team can add a pick there that could be as high as the 31st overall in next year’s draft, but more likely will be as high as a selection in the mid-30s. Some competitive balance lottery picks will be awarded to teams after the first and second rounds in next June’s draft.
Among many reasons a team would want one of those picks is that those picks can be traded.
Pending how negotiations go today with Gausman and Poche, there are other draft picks the Orioles could still attempt to sign beyond that pair. They have reached agreements with 29 of their 40 picks so far.