First Home Start Special For Matusz

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Notebook

Rookie Will Face Angels, Team That First Drafted Him

August 15, 2009|By Dan Connolly | Dan Connolly,dan.connolly@baltsun.com

Orioles left-hander Brian Matusz has two reasons to be excited about his start today.

It's the first time the club's 2008 first-round pick will pitch at Camden Yards. And he'll be facing the Los Angeles Angels, who drafted him in the fourth round in 2005.

"Being my first start at home means a lot to me. And for it to be the Angels, that once drafted me back in high school, yeah, that means a lot to me, too," said Matusz, who will be making his third big league start in his first professional season. "It'll be a fun and exciting matchup. Obviously, they are one of the top offenses in the league, which also makes it a lot of fun."

Matusz was originally selected by the Angels but decided to go to the University of San Diego instead. After three years there, the Orioles took him fourth overall and signed him for $3.47 million.

"There were no grudges out there at all," Matusz said. "It was one of those things that I really wanted to go to college, and they knew that, and we went our separate ways."

Angels scouting director Eddie Bane also harbors no ill will toward Matusz.

"He asked for over a million dollars," Bane said. "I should have said yes."

Coffey signed to bonus

The Orioles signed their 22nd-round pick, Texas high school left-hander Cameron Coffey, to a $990,000 signing bonus, a club record for a late-rounder.

The bonus was more than the Orioles paid second-round pick Xavier Avery last season. Coffey, 6 feet 5, 215 pounds, was projected to go much higher in the draft but injured his elbow and had Tommy John reconstructive surgery in March.

"I had this guy in the top two rounds; his value was there," Orioles amateur scouting director Joe Jordan said. "It's a risk, but there's always a risk for young players and that amount of money. We did our due diligence, and he passed the litmus test."

Coffey had been in the middle of a throwing program and now will head to Sarasota, Fla., on Monday to resume it with the organization's medical staff.

Jordan is attempting to sign several other low-round picks with high upside, including 11th-round high school catcher Michael Ohlman, before Monday's midnight deadline. Jordan said he has not had any contact with the advisers to second-rounder Mychal Givens after announcing Wednesday that the club had ended negotiations.

O's: Sano's price too high

The Orioles remain interested in highly regarded Dominican shortstop Miguel Angel Sano, but they're not prepared to meet his asking price.

Sano, a 16-year-old who is considered one of the top international free agents and has worked out for the Orioles several times, is believed to be seeking between $5.5 million and $7 million.

"The agent has officially begun the process of negotiating with several clubs, and we have not made an offer," said John Stockstill, the club's international scouting director. "The current asking price is north of where we currently have an interest in going."

Ill Scott doesn't start

Luke Scott was not in the starting lineup because of flu-like symptoms.

Baltimore Sun reporter Jeff Zrebiec contributed to this article.

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