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July 20, 2011

Jordan on draftees: Talking with Bundy; Esposito not close; others need to make decisions

With fewer than four weeks remaining to sign his 2011 draft picks, Orioles director of amateur scouting Joe Jordan finds himself in a familiar position in late July.

“We’re just kind of in a waiting mode on some stuff,” Jordan said. “We have offers out there to pretty much all of them. We’re going to sign some guys here soon or we’re going to move on to other things. Obviously, I’m talking about guys down in the draft. We have priorities. We have a first- and second-rounder that are not signed, and they are our top priorities.”

Jordan said he has had periodic conversations with the Orioles’ top pick, Dylan Bundy, a right-hander out of Owasso High in Oklahoma, whom the club selected fourth overall. Jordan fully expects the dialogue to pick up ahead of the Aug. 15 signing deadline.

However, Jordan did express some frustration that the club has been unable to make any progress in negotiations with their second-round selection, Jason Esposito, a third baseman from Vanderbilt.

“We were hopeful that Esposito would be out playing by now, and that’s not the case,” Jordan said. “We’re quite a ways apart. It’s just one of those things. I wish it was different. He needs to be playing, and he’s not. Unless something changes, he’s not going to be for a while unfortunately. We’ve got a big difference in opinion right now, and we’re going to hang in where we’re at.”

The Orioles have agreed to terms with 16 of their 50 picks, including six of their top 10 selections. Because the Orioles eliminated both their Rookie-level team in Bluefield and one of their Dominican Summer League teams and no longer have as much roster space, Jordan has said the organization probably will only sign between 20 and 25 of the 50 players that they selected last month.

Obviously, a good chunk of the draft budget will go toward trying to get Bundy into the fold. The 18-year-old has said he’s looking for a $30 million deal, which he certainly won’t get from the Orioles.

“I’ve talked to him from time to time,” Jordan said. “There’s not a whole lot of first-rounders who have signed. It’s just the nature of the beast right now. There’s not much you can do about it. You just wait until the time to strike, and hopefully we’ll get something done. We’re communicating, but not much is going on other than trying to have a little dialogue from time to time. That’s standard operating procedure unfortunately. “

As for the rest of his draft class, Jordan said it’s time for some of his selections to make decisions on where they want to play next.

“Hopefully, it’s the decision that we want them to make at the terms that we want them to make it at,” Jordan said. “We have priorities, and some guys are going to have to show me they want them to play or they’re going to be going back to school. It’s no different than any other year.”

Posted by Dan Connolly at 1:12 PM | | Comments (24)



I probably missed this when it happened, but can tell me the rationale behind closing two minor league teams in an organization known for little minor league depth? Drafting 50 kids, but only signing 20-25 because of roster space seems to go against rebuilding the organization.

Also, regarding Esposito, any idea which side needs to budge?

The O's will have 2 of the top 5 picks next year if he doesnt sign. I would keep picking him that way he is blocked from making his money. Im just saying

Any word on what domino from the first round will be the first to sign? Is everyone waiting on Bundy, since he's likely going to get the most money, or are they waiting on someone else?


If you don't sign him the first time you can't draft him again, it's not allowed.

Like it really matters if we sign these guys anyway. Our system will find a way to turn them into busts just like everyone else sans Wieters

i would give Bundy til July 31st he doesn't take what's offered i'd walk away! no rookie deserves a 30 million deal before he even steps on the field! greed just plain greed!

I suspect that Bundy will not sign. His demands are way too high for any player who was serious about starting a pro career and he apparently has signed a letter of intent with a JUCO (as well at U Texas). Most likely, at the time of the draft, the O's planned on sufficient improvement in the big league club that their 2012 pick would be unprotected if they signed a Type A free agent in the offseason. So by not signing Bundy, the O's will get a protected pick next year and are free to sign Prince Fielder.
To be perfectly honest though, I really thought that Esposito would be the prize of this years O's draft. His failure to sign is disappointing. He could be ML ready in 2 years.

And then there's Delmonico. He's supposed to be the steal of the draft. What happens with him?

I don't think this kid has any clue how much money $30 million is. He might as well be asking for 100 billion gajillion dollars.

dylan bundy's head just swelled that much more when he got that award. so he and esposito need to cme down from their ivory tower. the only bad thing if the orioles do not sign either of these players there is the chance they will with another team and come back to put a big hurting on the orioles should they prove to be legit major leaguers.

peteypablo has a good point. It has finally dawned on me that the GM is 'restructuring', not 'rebuilding'. From the looks of it, the GM is cutting expenses...but maybe that is not the answer. Maybe the answer lies in having a larger organization in which there could be more young, cheap, talent to grow and pick from for the major league club. This not having a place to put your freshly drafted players makes no sense and can't be helping the club to increase its minor league depth.

To put things in perspective for those who think Bundy's $30m figure is outlandish, Strasburg floated a cool $50m when he was drafted.

It's just the way the game goes.


Jordan's opionions are somewhat responsible for the poor state of the farm system. I think his ticket is about to get punched anyway along with others in the front office. Andy will probably leave the dirty work to his successor. Andy's departure will be addition by subtraction. He simply was the wrong man for the job, and the franchise wasted another four years trying to see if he had a clue. Obvioulsy, he did not and it's a shame that Angelos has let it go this far. Andy should resign now, so that a new GM could begin putting plans in place this year.

It's hard to get excited about signing draft picks anymore considering the team the O's put on the field these days. All those bad seasons, which led to all those high level draft picks, and all they have to show for it is Markakis, Wieters, Johnson, and maybe Arrieta & Britton. The desparate need for real major league level pitching aside, they need help at first, 2nd, 3rd and left field. So who's waiting in the wings in the minors to fill all those holes? This is, and has been for a long time, a very poorly run organization.

Bundy has to be dreaming if he is demanding 30 million dollars. If that's all he cares about, then he can go somewhere else.

There are major leaguer players who don't even get half that amount. There are players who just want to play the game they loved since childhood and don't care much about what they are earning. There are people out there who are looking for a job in this bad economy that won't make $500,000 in a lifetime.

Bundy, for a high school player, should be grateful that he is being given the opportunity to play pro ball, something others would die to get and they would cost much less. He needs to take what the FO gives him(it will be a fair amount) and be thankful for it. The same goes for Esposito too. What a world we live in where so many care only about dollar signs.

Jordan must go. He is the second highest reason, next to Peter Angelos, why this franchise is horrible.

Ok, MLB doesn't have a salary cap because the player's union won't let it happen; I get that part; but, the Draftees? MLB has to install a salary cap, for draftees. No draftee should be able to sign for more than 500,000 per season and not more than a $1 mil signing bonus. They've never played professionally. No team should be asked to take such a risk...right Matt Hobgood?

First let's prempt criticism with a realization 3-4 years ago the organization was in a less than zero state. No minors period. Nothing happening at ml level.No orgainzation. No plan. No off season facility to coordinate spring training. No......

We are in amuch better situation. But still a long way to go. But reality says it does not change overnight. Small Steps

Yes I am as Pxxxed as everyone else. Yes I want more. But I know we are 2 years away.
So take a deeeeep Breath and let the frustration out

What concerns me about likely not being able to Bundy and having 2 top-10 picks next draft, is that there will be 2 instead of 1 draftees that will want a huge contract to sign. Then what? Where will it end? How's a team suppose to start a renaissance when it can't even get the players at the lowest possible level to get on board?

Nice postering Mr. Jordan. Hey Mr. Angelos, I am surprised a guy with your attention to detail and exacting standards relative to your legal practice tolerates guys like this who clearly run their mouth at the wrong time and generally perform at a level well below any other scouting director in the ML. How does this guy stay employed?

Great post Gil,
It's good to hear your fresh take on Macphail.
It does sort of sound like the other 389 posts of the same bent but I know when we get older we tend to get locked into the same routines.
I suppose this is where I remind you that AM has won multiple World Series and is one of the top GM's in the game and if you fire him you won't find anyone better and then you respond by saying he won back in the days when dinosaurs roamed the earth.....
and so it goes

Reading Jordan's comments make me cringe for the folowing reasons:

1. If you are selecting a talent like Bundy expect to pay him the large dollars or don't waste the organizations time in drafting him.
2, Did Jordan actually watch Esposito in the college world series? This guy is not worth a high second round draft pick - his performance shows Esposito is worthy of signing for the value of a tenth to fifteen round selection.
3. Delmonico - he is the selection the Orioles need to sign at any cost. If Jordan did not feel that he was going to pay Delmonico first round money that he is worth why-o-why did Jordan waste a sixth round pick when there was plenty of signability talent still left on the table.

The Orioles need to sign both Bundy and Delmonico to start creating credibility in their minor league organization.

Great that the team that just can't develop talent is signing even fewer players. Why? So they can spend more money on international signings? No. So they can sign big time free agents? No. So they can add scouts? No. So they can build an academy in the Dominican? No. So they can sign their number 2 pick? NO!! Mr. Angelos, you have run this organization into the ground. For that you are scorned.

A few things guys.. remember this song and dance with Machado last year? And Wieters, and Matusz.. its the way things go.. draftee asks for the moon and sun, he might get a star. Also MLB frowns upon overslot deals, so most of those aren't announced until the deadline, to prevent leverage from other agents. When Jordan sounds worried, then I'll be worried. If we lose Bundy, we could only redraft him if he signs a waiver allowing us to do so. So rest assured, we'd draft a safe player with the 4b pick next year. Now the 2nd rd pick, I'm more worried about him, but how much leverage does he have? I think that he's a senior. So the money will probably (hopefully lol) talk in the endm

Thanks, Smitty..

There is one small difference in my(at least 389 posts, maybe closer to 500) about Andy, and yours....

I was right....all along, and Andy will leave after the season with his team not only still in last place, but with a worse overrall record than the four years prior to his hiring. How can you possibly make a bad situation worse? You drag an over the hill baseball exec from another era out of retirement {let him install his thrice fired nephew as Head of Professional Scouting}, step back, and check in four years later.

Now you can come back and tell me what a mess he inherited, Rome wasn't built in a day, we can't spend our way out of it because that's how we got here, It's not fair that we play in the AL East, we can't spend with the Yankees and Red Sox, marquee Fa's won't come here, they aren't worth the money anyhow, he knows what he is doing and anyone who can't grasp that is a blithering idiot.

By the way, the Orioles do need to get going a little get to the 90 wins you predicted.

......51 and 16 would do it.

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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