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August 15, 2011

One down, two to go as Orioles agree to terms with Esposito

It took longer than Orioles director of amateur scouting Joe Jordan had hoped, but the club tonight agreed to terms with second-round pick Jason Esposito, a third baseman out of Vanderbilt.

Esposito's deal was for $600,000, $30,000 more than the slot recommendation for the 64th overall pick.

Esposito batted .341 with nine homers and 59 RBIs in 65 games for a Vanderbilt team that made the College World Series. His best tool is his glove as he is considered an above-average defender at third base.

Ranked 77th on Baseball America’s list of the top 100 draft prospects, Esposito becomes the Orioles’ 20th selection to agree to terms and the eighth out of the top 10. The Orioles finalized an agreement with 26th-round pick, Zach Davies, a right-handed high school pitcher out of Arizona, earlier in the day.

Securing Esposito will allow the Orioles to focus their attention on top pick Dylan Bundy and sixth-rounder Nick Delmonico with about 2 1/2 hours remaining before the deadline to sign 2011 draft picks.

Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 9:25 PM | | Comments (8)


Why would he wait all the way until deadline day and then sign for basically slot money?

Steve, it's a game of chicken for both sides. It makes no sense, but that's what everyone does, and no one flinches.

Steve, because no one believes you have reached your bottom line until there is no real way to believe otherwise. The lower-round picks sign early because they have no leverage, but the guys who have leverage hold out for the best possible deal. I'm a lawyer and that is why I now only agree to do one-day mediations/negotiating sessions. If you do two days or more, you just guarantee that you will spend the entire time negotiating and not reach agreement until time almost is up. Even then, parties often walk away and make a deal in the ensuing days when they become convinced they are not going to get a better deal. With the midnight deadline, baseball doesn't have that ability, so the picks sign as the clock ticks down.

Terp, everything you say makes perfect sense, but still, everyone knows these guys, the high picks I mean, are going to get their money, why do they have to wait until the last minute?

And why in the Lord's name is the signing deadline not until August? I know that there will be some discussion about moving the signing deadline to July, which makes more sense. I also know that there will be some talk of letting teams trade picks.

Bundy is done!

Esposito is the true type of competitor that the Orioles need to have. Tremendous defensively at 3B, gap hitter with good speed. Hopefully he turns into another Kevin Seitzer. Definitely better than Fritz Connolly. Sorry Roland Hemond.

Awesome pickup for the Orioles. We could have used him at third this year..sorry bout that Mark. Mark does look good at first, doesn't he? We are gaining some flexibility going forward. Mark can play 1st, 3rd (hopefully continue to work on his D), and DH. With some young, defensive and offensive minded left-infielder's in the system, we (thank's Andy) have a chance to make this club the complete package.

Call me crazy but I'm not so infatuated with a 2nd round pick, position player who is known more for the glove than the bat. If I'm drafting a position player in the first 5 rounds, they better carry a mean stick, first and foremost. Above average defensive position players can be found in round 10. If I can't find a good enough hitting prospect within the first 5 rounds, I'll take a pitcher in all 5 of those rounds.

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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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