Boras mum about Wieters negotiations

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Major league deal could be in works

Olson will get start against Red Sox

Notebook

August 11, 2007|By Dan Connolly and Roch Kubatko | Dan Connolly and Roch Kubatko,Sun reporters

With the amateur signing deadline just a few days away, the adviser for Orioles first-round pick Matt Wieters said he is still negotiating "in good faith."

But agent Scott Boras wouldn't further characterize the talks or predict whether Wieters will agree to terms before Wednesday's midnight deadline.

"They are ongoing," Boras said. "Obviously, the thing I try to do with this type of player, we try to make sure we have a fit long before the draft. We try to be very upfront about our view of the player and make sure they know how we feel. [The Orioles] let us know that they have a similar view of the player from [owner Peter Angelos] on down."

Wieters, a 21-year-old junior catcher out of Georgia Tech, was perhaps the best player available this June, but he slipped to the Orioles at No. 5 because of perceived contract demands.

Boras and the Orioles would not comment on what Wieters is seeking, but it's believed to far exceed the $2.25 million slot figure recommended by the commissioner's office.

"I don't want to get into where things are," Boras said. "It's unfair. Teams do things in a particular way."

The Orioles have paid just one player, pitcher Adam Loewen, a signing bonus worth more than $2.25 million. Loewen, the fourth overall pick in 2002, received a major league deal that included a $3.2 million bonus.

For the first time since Loewen, Orioles officials appear willing to sign a first-round selection to a major league deal. They aren't ruling out anything.

"I'll tell you one thing, I'm not a big policy guy," Orioles president Andy MacPhail said. "As soon as you set a policy, you're going to find a situation where you're going to want to break it. My view is that you stay flexible and you do what you think is in the best interest of the organization."

Another shot for Olson

Garrett Olson will receive more attention than he expected during his next start with the Orioles.

The club recalled Olson so he could make today's start against the Boston Red Sox, with Brian Burres going to the bullpen. The Orioles optioned reliever Kurt Birkins to Triple-A Norfolk.

"It was brought to my attention that it's nationally televised, so it's kind of exciting, but I'll go in and treat it just like another game," Olson said. "I'm excited to get out here and get another chance."

Olson is 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA in two starts with the Orioles and 9-7 with a 3.16 ERA in 22 starts at Norfolk. He was removed from Wednesday's game after two innings so he could start today.

"Olson gets a heck of a chance," manager Dave Trembley said. "It's great for him and it's good for our club and nice for the organization when you can bring up a young guy who's earned it.

"I don't think it's an audition. He'll get the opportunity to start on a regular basis."

Redman gets a start

Five Orioles have started in left field this season. But last night was the first time a former independent league player got the nod.

Tike Redman, who began the year with the York Revolution of the Atlantic League, played left and hit ninth against Red Sox rookie Daisuke Matsuzaka.

Redman hadn't appeared in a major league game since 2005 with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

"I feel like a rookie, just excited and nervous at the same time," Redman said. "I've been in the big leagues before, [but] I'll still be nervous, no matter what."

Redman hit .300 in 79 games at Norfolk after joining the organization from his stint with the Revolution.

"It's been a journey, but I made it out," he said.

Around the horn

The Orioles don't expect Freddie Bynum to come off the disabled list before Friday's series opener in Toronto. ... David Ortiz originally wasn't in the Red Sox's lineup because of a sore shoulder, but he served as the designated hitter.

dan.connolly@baltsun.com roch.kubatko@baltsun.com

Sun reporter Jeff Zrebiec contributed to this article.

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