Just eight days after making Cody Sedlock their first-round pick in this year's draft, the Orioles officially signed the former Illinois right-hander Friday, one of the team's quickest first-round signings in recent years.
Sedlock, who signed for the slot bonus of $2,097,200, was the first player of the Orioles' 41-pick draft class to sign, although scouting director Gary Rajsich said he expects several more signings within the next week.
"There were really no questions about it," Rajsich said. "It's just a matter of paying a little attention to the details, if you will, but we were happy to have him. We were anxious to sign him and he was ready to sign, so it kind of came together really fast. We're very close on several others. … Hopefully several more next week."
Sedlock, who went 5-3 with a 2.49 ERA and a school-record 116 strikeouts in 101 1/3 innings this past season as a junior, earning Big Ten Pitcher of the Year honors, was eager to start his pro career. Since the Illini didn't make the Big Ten tournament, his season ended just under a month ago.
"Ever since then, I just want to get back on the mound as quick as possible and get in the system and just work," Sedlock said. "… Ever since I heard my name called, I wanted to get right here and sign the papers and get to it as quick as possible."
Sedlock was the first of three college arms the Orioles took with their first selections, hoping the three can move up the system quickly. Sedlock worked as a reliever his first two years at Illinois, making the transition to starting while earning the reputation for getting deep in games.
"Every time I step on the mound, I want to finish the game myself," Sedlock said. "Personally, I take pride in that."
Sedlock, who has been in the area the past few days while completing his deal, said he took notice of how many people he sees wearing Orioles gear, but said he still needs one thing to make his trip complete.
"I can't wait to get myself some crab cakes," he said. "I haven't gotten any of those yet."
Rajsich said that Sedlock will report to the team's spring training facility in Sarasota, Fla., for an orientation and to throw some bullpens. But he will eventually return north to begin his pro career with short-season Single-A Aberdeen.
"We'll see how far he is and how far along he is and how close he is to getting in a game," Rajsich said. "He may even throw one or two innings down there, but they'll evaluate where he's at and as soon as they think he's ready, they'll send him up.
"What we particularly like about Cody … is that he has the ability to take his stuff up a notch with runners on base. His compete level is really good and that's one of the things that drew us to Cody."