The Orioles have until Friday at 5 p.m. Eastern time to sign their top draft pick, LSU pitcher Kevin Gausman. An Orioles source tells MASNsports.com that the club made a new offer yesterday and that the Orioles “still feel pretty confident” that they will get this deal done.
The club source would not reveal any details of the new offer, but the slot amount listed for the fourth pick in the draft is $4.2 million.
“The ball is in their court,” the source said.
Gausman is the highest-drafted player that has not signed. The player selected ahead of him, University of Florida catcher Mike Zunino, drafted third by Seattle, signed for a $4.0 million bonus. The player taken one spot after Gausman, University of San Francisco pitcher Kyle Zimmer, got $3.0 million from Kansas City.
In a story Monday in the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Gausman was quoted saying: “This is turning out to be a tough decision, but as of now my heart is still with LSU. There are still things for me to accomplish as a Tiger. I still want to play in and win the College World Series, and with a lot of guys coming back next year, I believe we can do it.”
Gausman, as a sophomore this year, went 12-2 with an ERA of 2.77 and went to the College World Series. Over 123 2/3 innings, he walked 28 and fanned 135.
The Orioles also remain hopeful of signing their fifth-round pick, high school left-handed pitcher Colin Poche, from Marcus High in Flower Mound, Texas. Reports have said that Poche will not sign with the Orioles and will head to college at the University of Arkansas, but the Orioles believe they can still sign Poche and continue to negotiate with him and his representative.
The slot amount listed for that pick is $262,000.
The Orioles have signed eight of their top 10 round selections.