BALTIMORE -- With the College World Series ending Monday night, the Orioles are expected to get the ball rolling and start negotiations with two of their top 10 Draft picks: South Carolina first baseman Christian Walker (fourth round) and right-handed pitcher Matthew Price (seventh round) within the next day or two.
"We talked to their people before drafting them and we are under the impression we can get it done," amateur scouting director Gary Rajsich said Tuesday of the signability of Walker and Price, who lost to Arizona in the NCAA College World Series Monday night.
The club has signed 23 of its 40 draftees and Rajsich said the emphasis now is on signing the five guys remaining in the top 10 rounds and then re-evaluating the budget after that in determining whom to sign from the lower rounds.
The O's first two picks, LSU right-handed pitcher Kevin Gausman and Virginia right-hander Branden Kline both remain unsigned, and although negotiations have started in both cases, there's not anything to suggest a signing is on the immediate horizon.
"Nothing unusual about the way it's progressing," Rajsich said of talks with Gausman and Kline's agents. Asked if he anticipated something to be done before this year's deadline, which was moved up to July 13 this year, Rajsich said: "I don't know, these things are two-sided propositions and both sides are going to have to come together, but we both know when the deadline is.
I wouldn't have any guess, I really wouldn't. It could be July 13, I don't know."
The Orioles are still optimistic they will sign their top 10 guys, a group that still includes Gausman, Kline, Walker, Price and fifth-rounder Colin Poche, a high school lefty from Texas. The club is also currently still scouting and evaluating some of their lower-round high school picks, getting another look at a handful of guys playing in summer leagues to determine which direction they want to go.