Will the clock strike midnight on Machado?
By now, the countdown has begun to tonight’s midnight deadline for signing draft picks before losing their rights. Both the Orioles and Scott Boras, the representative for third overall pick, Manny Machado, have predictably said little about the negotiations so I’m not aware of what the Orioles are offering or the amount of the signing bonus Machado is seeking.
However, it’s widely expected that Boras will be looking to eclipse the $6.25 million signing bonus that the San Diego Padres gave Georgia high school outfielder Donovan Tate, last year’s third overall pick. Tate is also a Boras client.
On the other side, I’d imagine that the Orioles are thinking about other comps such as Mike Moustakas, a California high school third baseman who the Kansas City Royals took third overall in 2007. The Royals gave him a $4 million signing bonus. The highest signing bonus the Orioles have ever given out was $6 million to Matt Wieters in 2007.
My feeling is that the Orioles and Boras will find a common ground between Moustakas’ $4 million and Tate’s $6.25 million. It will be a lot closer to Tate’s number and there are going to be some anxious moments today as the clock nears midnight, though my guess is it will eventually get done.
Then again, I was told by an Orioles’ official five minutes before the deadline to sign Wieters that it was a lost cause and the switch-hitting catcher was returning to Georgia Tech. We all saw how that one ended up. Nothing will surprise me today other than this deal getting done hours before midnight.