Brian Matusz Update

Little has come from the Warehouse on Camden about developments in negotiations with first round selection, fourth overall, Brian Matusz. Inside you can find the latest update, directly from Andy MacPhail.

Brian Matusz, the Baltimore Orioles first round pick, fourth overall, in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft will likely not sign a contract until the August 15 deadline, according Orioles President of Baseball Operations Andy MacPhail.

Matusz was drafted after his junior year at the University of San Diego in which he led the country in strikeouts, with 141 in 105 innings pitched. As a sophomore, he in 2007 he only trailed 2007 first overall pick David Price in strikeouts.

"I would think since it's August 4th and there's no resolution, you can pretty much rest assured that one's going to go down to the 15th," MacPhail said.

If Matusz does not sign until the mid-August deadline, this will be the second straight season the Orioles and their first draft pick waited until the last minute. In 2007, Matt Wieters, the fifth over-all pick, signed moments before the deadline.

One problem the late signing will cause is a delay in the development of Matusz. In an interview with Joe Jordan, Orioles' Director of Scouting, on June 29, Jordan said Matusz will most likely be shut down for the season, and not pitch in the Orioles' system if the two sides came to terms at the deadline.

Fall or winter league baseball is not out of the question for Matusz, as two 2007 prominent picks, catcher Matt Wieters and pitcher Jake Arrieta, took their services to Hawaii and Arizona respectively.

While this can be a nervous time for fans and front office personnel, Matusz made it clear during the June 5 draft day conference call that he intends to pitch professionally and for the Orioles.

"I've had my three years in college, it's been a great three years, but I'm definitely excited to start my professional career and get up to the Major Leagues," Matusz said.

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