The amateur signing period ends at 5 p.m. Friday and the Orioles will have signed most of their top draft picks, though one of their highest-rated amateurs has chosen college instead of a pro contract.
Right-hander Jonathan Hughes, who the team selected in the second round (68th overall) out of Flowery Branch High School in Georgia has decided to go to Georgia Tech, Orioles scouting director Gary Rajsich said.
The sides simply could not come to a financial agreement, Rajsich said.
"I'm disappointed," Rajsich said. "We liked him. That's why we drafted him. But we wish him well."
Rajsich said the club signed 35 of its 41 picks this year, including 19 of its first 20.
By not signing Hughes, the Orioles will get a compensatory pick (No. 69) next year. Combine that with a potential Competitive Balance B Pick in the 70s next year – the Orioles won't qualify for an A pick because of their revenue from 2014, but are in the B lottery – and maybe as many as three compensatory picks for losing qualifying-offer free agents, and the Orioles could have up to seven of the top 75 draft picks in 2016.
In other minor moves, the Orioles have signed left-handed pitchers Dana Eveland and Andy Oliver to minor league deals and assigned them to Triple-A Norfolk, where they will both pitch out of the bullpen.
Eveland, a 31-year-old who pitched 14 games (two starts) for the Orioles in 2012, posted a 5.40 ERA in 10 relief appearances (3 1/3 innings) with the Atlanta Braves this season. He was released by the Braves earlier this month. Evelan also went 2-0 with a 1.44 ERA in 25 innings over 17 relief appearances at Triple-A in the Atlanta and Boston Red Sox organizations this year.
Oliver, 27, last pitched in the majors in 2010 and 2011 with the Detroit Tigers. A former second-round pick, Oliver was 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA in 25 appearances with Triple-A Durham in the Tampa Bay Rays organization. Oliver opted out of his minor league deal with the Rays earlier this month.
Also, pitcher Michael Bowden, who was at Triple-A Norfolk, has opted out of his minor league deal and is a free agent.