No. 4 overall pick Kevin Gausman broke the news himself via Twitter right at the 5:00 p.m. signing deadline, as the LSU right-hander announced that he agreed to a last-second deal with the Orioles.
Earlier this week Gausman’s hometown New Orleans Times Picayune reported that he’d be turning down the Orioles and going back to LSU for his senior season, but they quickly backtracked on that story and he ended up getting $4.32 million compared to the slot value of $4.2 million.
The top pitcher taken in the draft after position players Carlos Correa, Byron Buxton, and Mike Zunino went 1-2-3, Gausman should move quickly through the Orioles’ farm system and projects as a potential top-of-the-rotation starter with a mid-90s fastball and plus changeup.
The Rangers will not sign free agent reliever Seung-hwan Oh after all. Reports from MLB.com’s TR Sullivan indicate that negotiations were brought to a halt after a physical issue was found with the pitcher. While the specifics have yet to be released, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News says the issue was revealed on an MRI of the right-hander’s arm.
Oh was thought to be in talks with the Rangers last week, though a deal was never officially announced by the club. The 35-year-old righty is fresh off of a two-year run with the Cardinals, during which he posted a cumulative 39 saves, 2.85 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 10.2 SO/9 in 139 innings. He struggled with consistency in his sophomore season, however, and finished 2017 with a disappointing 4.10 ERA and 4.44 FIP in 62 appearances for the team.
While Oh hasn’t experienced any setbacks with his arm in the majors so far, he does have a history of prior injuries during his time in KBO. He sustained a shoulder injury in 2009 and underwent surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow in 2010. It’s possible that the Rangers saw an entirely different problem on the MRI, but clearly it was enough to give them strong reservations about inking the righty to a $2.75+ million deal. It’s still possible that another of Oh’s suitors will offer him a contract prior to Opening Day; the Giants were rumored to be interested in the veteran reliever, among other teams, though their recent acquisition of lefty reliever Tony Watson will likely take them out of the running now.