07/17/10 7:28 PM ET
Machado, third-rounder expected to sign
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
"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."
Roberts close to returning to Orioles
BALTIMORE -- Brian Roberts will continue his rehab assignment at Double-A Bowie on Monday and could rejoin the Orioles on their current 10-game homestand.
"He feels that he might need just 15 more at-bats," interim manager Juan Samuel said of Roberts, whom he recently contacted by phone. "He wanted to join [the Orioles]. That's his wish, but obviously we have to wait and see how he's feeling after that."
Samuel said that Roberts (herniated disc in his lower back) has been pushing to rejoin the team and that the second baseman said he was going to talk his way into Monday's lineup against Tampa Bay, but "it's just not going to happen," Samuel said.
"We have to make a smart decision with the medical staff and our baseball people down there [in Sarasota, Fla.] on what's best for him and what are they seeing, and then we could go from here."
What could happen is Roberts rejoining the Orioles as soon as next weekend for a four-game set against the Minnesota Twins. Samuel said Roberts, who has been shelved since aggravating an offseason injury in April 9's home opener, was anxious and as optimistic about his return as he has been in any point of a long and trying rehab process.
"He sounded [on the phone] like he wants to be here, he feels like he's ready," Samuel said. "And that's encouraging."
Roberts -- who has had three separate epidural injections in his back -- told MASN's "The Scott Garceau Show" last week that he was targeting an Aug. 1 return and hoped to get a full two months this season. It now appears that he might beat that projection.
In five rehab games with the GCL Orioles, Roberts has gone 8-for-15 (.533) with a double, two walks and a run scored.
A dynamic table-setter for the top of the Orioles lineup, Roberts hit .283 with a .356 on-base percentage and a .451 slugging percentage in 159 games last season. The 32-year-old also clubbed 16 homers with 79 RBIs and a franchise-record 56 doubles. The latter number set the all-time mark for two-baggers in a season by a switch-hitter.
Luke Scott (strained left hamstring) is also expected to join Roberts in Bowie on Monday. Scott, who has been rehabbing with the GCL Orioles since Thursday, will rejoin the club following Sunday's game, and Samuel said Bowie is the likely course of action.
Michael Gonzalez allowed a pair of runs on three hits and a walk over two-thirds of an inning at Triple-A Norfolk on Friday night and is scheduled to pitch again on Sunday. Gonzalez's rehab runs out on Wednesday, meaning the Orioles must make a decision on activating him. ... Kevin Millwood threw a successfull bullpen session Friday and will throw another one Sunday, according to Orioles pitching coach Rick Kranitz. Millwood is eligible to come off the DL as early as Wednesday. ... The Orioles' home game on July 24 vs. Minnesota has been changed from a 4:10 p.m. ET start to a 7:10 p.m. start. The game will no longer air on FOX and will instead be broadcast on MASN2.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.