08/17/10 1:05 AM ET
Orioles sign No. 3 overall pick Machado
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
The importance of getting Machado -- considered one of three stand-alone talents in this year's Draft -- couldn't be understated for Baltimore scouting director Joe Jordan, who said the bulk of negotiations came in the final hour.
"For us to have a really good Draft, we had to sign this player," said Jordan of Machado, whose signability was expected to be tough given agent Scott Boras' reputation for going down to the wire. "It went like we thought. We had a really good read on the financial side of it -- what it was going to take. Again, it played out 'till the end. We're very happy."
Machado is a 6-foot-2, 180-pound shortstop out of Brito Private High School in Miami, Fla., who has drawn raves for his smooth footwork, quick hands and solid arm strength. The right-handed-hitting Machado batted .639 (55-for-86) with 12 home runs and 56 RBIs in his senior season for Brito. A four-year varsity player, he added 43 runs scored, 27 doubles and 17 stolen bases.
Jordan said following Machado's physical the Orioles will send him to their Spring Training facility in Sarasota, Fla., with the expectation being he will get into some Gulf Coast League games.
"If he's in good enough condition, we'll see if we can extend his season," Jordan said. "But it won't be very long obviously."
Last summer, Machado helped lead USA Baseball's 18 and Under team to a gold medal in Venezuela in the Pan American Junior Championship. He will instantly become one of Baltimore's top position prospects, filling an organizational void at shortstop, although a future move to third base isn't totally out of the question.
Machado's selection marked the first time that the Orioles drafted a shortstop in the first round since Rich Dauer was taken in 1974. Machado was the third high school shortstop selected by the Orioles in the first round, joining Bobby Grich (1967) and Junior Kennedy (1968).
With Machado's signing, the Orioles have agreed to terms with 39 of their 49 selections, including seventh-rounder Matthew Bywater, a lefty out of Pepperdine University, who reached a deal earlier Monday evening. Baltimore, which lost its second-round pick to sign free agent Michael Gonzalez, signed eight of its first nine picks, with sixth-rounder Dixon Anderson electing to go back to school.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.