Machado, third-rounder expected to sign

Machado, third-rounder expected to sign

BALTIMORE -- Although the Orioles were reportedly closing in on negotiations with their third-round Draft pick, right-handed pitcher Dan Klein, scouting director Joe Jordan said Saturday that the talks have stalled some.

"That one [signing] hasn't come together like I was led to believe it was going to," Jordan said from Salisbury, Md., where he was watching the Orioles' Class-A Delmarva affiliate. "I don't see any reason for alarm. I'm just at where I'm at and [still] expect to sign him, but I expected it to be done by now."

Jordan said he doesn't expect the negotiations with Klein to go down to the Aug. 16 signing deadline, but he acknowledged that signing the organization's top pick Manny Machado, a high school shortstop who went No. 3 overall, will carry over into August. The Orioles have every expectation of signing Machado, a Boras Corporation client, a sentiment president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail reiterated in his State of the Orioles address prior to Saturday's game.

"I'm very confident [Machado] will sign," MacPhail told the group of season ticket holders. "Most of those [top-round] players it will be around that Aug. 16 deadline."

Added Jordan: "[Playing for the Orioles is] what he wants and that's what we want. And if it's what both sides want, we will find a way to get it done."

Considered one of three stand-alone talents in this year's Draft, Machado is a 6-foot-2, 180-pound shortstop out of Brito Private H.S. in Miami, who has drawn rave reviews for his smooth footwork, quick hands and solid arm strength.

Machado hit .639 (55-for-86) with 12 home runs and 56 RBIs in his senior season for Brito. A four-year varsity player, he scored 43 runs, hit 27 doubles and stole 17 bases and helped lead USA Baseball's 18 and Under team to a gold medal last summer in Venezuela in the Pan American Junior Championship.

"Unfortunately the way this thing is structured and set up, the hoops that you have to jump through in certain situations just doesn't allow [signing top players] to happen as quickly as it needs to," Jordan said. "But [Machado is] worth the wait and we will do what we need to do."

The Orioles have agreed to terms with 29 of their 49 selections in this year's First-Year Player Draft, but have signed just one player -- fourth-rounder Trent Mummey -- from their top 10 picks.

"It's a slow go right now," said Jordan, adding that the organization has certain parameters for their selections that they don't want to go beyond. "Hopefully, in the next week to 10 days we can bring three or four in and go to the next group."