Machado and Draft updates

On the eve of Monday night’s Trade Deadline, the Orioles remain confident that their top selection, third overall pick Manny Machado will sign with Baltimore.

Orioles scouting director Joe Jordan said Sunday afternoon he’s not concerned with the fact that both sides have had limited contact, and doesn’t expect talks to heat up with Machado’s agent, Scott Boras, until several hours before the midnight deadline.

“I’m not worried,” Jordan said of Machado’s signability which, along an unprecedented amount of top picks this year, figures to go down to the wire. “I’m not surprised by anything. It’s the way it is. And I don’t have to like it, but there’s only so much we can do right now.”

Machado, a high school shortstop, figures to be the last remaining piece of the O’s top ten with sixth-round pick RHP Dixon Anderson expected to not sign and seventh-rounder Matthew Bywater, a lefty out of Pepperdine, also headed in that direction. 

Jordan said negotiations with both Anderson and Bywater were expected to be difficult when they gambled on selecting them and the organization wasn’t misled by either player. As of Sunday afternoon the Orioles have agreed to terms with 34 of their 49 picks from June’s Draft, and doled out overslot bonuses to several selections including pitchers Dan Klein (3) and Parker Bridwell (9) and shortstop Connor Narron (5).

“I can’t be irresponsible,” Jordan said.  “I work off of the value that our staff puts on these players. And there are times when I feel like I get out of my comfort zone. I feel like we are overpaying some, but never to the degree where I think I shouldn’t be doing this, but I’m doing it anyway.”

Although the emphasis has been on high-priority picks, the Orioles are expected to sign more of their later-round guys before Monday’s deadline, with many just waiting on an official offer.

“At some point, we have to walk away from these guys,” Jordan said of Anderson and Bywater, who personally told Jordan last night he would return to school if the O’s didn’t meet his expectations.

“We are working on certain players down in the Draft, backup plans that we took, just trying to position these guys that we’re in if we don’t get some of these higher guys done. We’ll complete our Draft with some younger high school players that do want to go play, but have basically been waiting on me to extend an offer to them.”

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