O’s Optimistic About Signing Machado

Manny Machado has heard the Alex Rodriguez comparisons, like everyone else. The Orioles’ first round selection is a big high school shortstop from the Miami area, so A-Rod was an unavoidable point of reference. Machado finds the comparisons flattering – to a point.

“I’m Manny Machado,” he said after celebrating the draft with about 25 family members. “I can’t be like anybody else. You’ve got to be yourself.”

Before long, Machado could be making a name for himself in the same organization as recent first rounders Nick Markakis, Matt Wieters and Brian Matusz. Orioles scouting director Joe Jordan says he was drawn to Machado’s enthusiasm for the game and, most of all, his talent.

“He’s going to automatically be one of the premier prospects in the organization,” Jordan said.

Technically, the Orioles have to sign Machado before that happens. Whether the shortstop likes the A-Rod comparisons or not, Machado definitely has something in common with Rodriguez: Scott Boras. That connection has intimidated teams before, but Jordan expressed confidence that the Orioles will sign Machado.

“He’s going to be a Baltimore Oriole,” Jordan said. “I have no doubt about that.”

Wieters, another Boras client, obtained the highest bonus in Orioles history when he signed for $6MM in 2007.

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