If Baseball America draft expert Jim Callis is right, and he usually is, the Orioles will sign their top draft pick, number three overall selection Manny Machado.
But, as has been expected since the day they selected the Miami prep shortstop, the negotiations are expected to go down to the deadline, next Monday at midnight.
“I’d be shocked if they didn’t sign him. If you take a guy like that at number three and you know how good he is and you know who his agent is, you know you are going to be paying the guy,” Callis said.
“My guess is he could wind up signing for five to six million dollars. The Orioles might think that number is closer to four. But he’s a better player than Donovan Tate (taken third last year) was last year and Tate got 6.25 million.”
So Callis feels extremely confident that this deal is going to get done.
“I’d be shocked if they didn’t (sign him). The top two picks in the draft are still unsigned, half the first rounders are still unsigned. But that’s just the way it is. I don’t even think you negotiate that seriously with these guys until this week.
“They may be millions apart still, but you don’t take a guy with that pick not planning to spend the money on him. You don’t take that guy at number three and walk away I don’t think.
“I say it’s 99.9 percent they sign him. It would just absolutely stun me if they didn’t.
“That’s going to be a deal that becomes official right before the deadline. Because he’s going to get a lot of money. Boras’ MO is if you don’t meet his number, he’ll take you to the deadline. Just like they did with Matt Wieters, we’ll find out about that one around 11:55 or something at the deadline.”
Callis also reported recently that the Orioles came to overslot deals with fifth-round pick, high school infielder Conner Narron and ninth-round pick, pitcher Parker Bridwell.
Baseball America reported that Narron agreed to a $650,000 dollar deal, which was $478,000 above slot for him and that Bridwell will get $625,000, which is $475,000 above slot for his draft spot.
“There will be some deals that will blow those two out of the water. But, in terms of deals that are completed and that teams are actually acknowledging are completed they have two of the three biggest deals in terms of how much they were over MLB slot recommendation of any team in baseball right now in Narron and Bridwell.
“I think the Orioles are probably one of the five teams or so that will wind up spending about 8, 9, 10 million dollars on the draft. They were very aggressive last year, we saw what they did then.”
Minor League update: The Orioles have promoted Frederick outfielder Xavier Avery to Double-A Bowie. Avery, a second-round pick in 2008, is just 20 years old.
Avery was batting .280 in 109 games for Frederick with 25 doubles, four home runs, 37 RBIs and seven stolen bases in eight attempts.
Avery has been Frederick’s leadoff hitter and has played left and center field for the Keys. His last 12 starts with Frederick were in center. Avery hit .305 in July, but has struggled to date in August, going 4 for 30.
He is second in the Carolina League in stolen bases and runs scored and fifth in hits. He is expected to bat leadoff and play center for the Baysox.