LSU coach calls report Gausman is returning 'premature'

The Orioles have said they are still in negotiations with top pick Kevin Gausman, the LSU sophomore right-hander.

But if you want more proof, here's a released statement from LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri disputing a Monday night report from a New Orleans newspaper's website, which originally quoted an anonymous source that Gausman was headed back to LSU.

The site later backed off that pronouncement, saying Gausman was "seriously considering" returning to school.

Here's Mainieri, the head baseball coach: "Kevin is still in negotiations with the Orioles, and any reports portraying his return to LSU as definite are premature. This is a monumental decision in Kevin's life, and as much as we want him back with us, we also want him to do what is in his best interest."

The deadline for signing Gausman is Friday afternoon. The slot for the No. 4 pick overall is $4.2 million.

It wouldn't be the first time – or the last – that a player used college leverage leading up to the deadline, and then eventually signed a deal. So there's no reason to panic now, Orioles fans.