Orioles vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said the club has spent time this week working on trying to get its first-round draft pick, LSU pitcher Kevin Gausman, to agree to a contract. The deadline to sign this year's draft picks comes up Friday.
The Orioles have agreed to terms with eight of their top 10 picks with only Gausman and their fifth-round pick, high school pitcher Colin Poche, still to get in the fold.
"We are working on that this week," Duquette said of the team's efforts to sign Gausman. "We'd like to sign him and I think he wants to sign. It's a two-party deal but we like Kevin and we think he wants to come and play ball this year."
Has there been any progress in talks this week?
"A little bit," Duquette said.
Are the sides close to a deal?
"We need to have something done by next Friday. Like I said, we are working on it," he said.
Gausman was the player the Orioles selected with the fourth overall pick in round one. This season with LSU, he went 12-2 with an ERA of 2.77. Over 123 2/3 innings, he gave up 106 hits with 28 walks and 135 strikeouts.
Meanwhile, one player the Orioles won't be signing is Korean high school pitcher Seong-Min Kim. If you remember, he was the pitcher the Orioles came to terms with on a reported $550,000 signing bonus in January, but then were denied the right to sign the player because they violated protocol in the process.
The Korean Baseball Organization protested over the Orioles' signing of the player and later The Korean Baseball Association said it would ban Orioles scouts from the country.
Kim will not become an Oriole.
"I think he is back in Korea. We are not going to sign him. We don't want to sign him. We are electing not to sign him," Duquette said.
"We made a mistake on that and we've moved on. We made a mistake in the protocol agreement. It's important for the Orioles to respect the protocol agreements that Major League Baseball has with baseball associations around the world, so we apologized for that and we've moved on."
Have the Orioles moved on because they are not allowed to sign Kim?
"We've elected not to," Duquette said. "There was a period of time where we couldn't sign him, but we decided under the circumstances that the right thing to do would be to move on."
Has all the flap from that situation over the winter created any lingering issues for the club?
"No," Duquette said.
He would not come right out and say the Orioles are now able to scout in Korea, but he insinuated that is the case when asked about it.
"We are active in a number of markets. Just say that the Orioles are active around the globe," he said.
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