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.
Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.
The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.
The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.