The Baltimore Orioles interrupted their miserable 2019 season to introduce a sliver of hope for the future: Adley Rutschman, the top pick in the Major League Baseball draft.
Rutschman sat alongside general manager Mike Elias at a news conference Tuesday at Camden Yards before the Orioles faced the San Diego Padres, whose most notable player, Manny Machado, was nabbed by Baltimore with the third selection in the 2010 draft.
Machado became a star, but the Orioles traded him away last year in the midst of a 115-loss season because they couldn’t afford to keep him beyond 2018.
Now in the process of a major rebuild, Elias is counting on Rutschman — a switch-hitting catcher from Oregon State — to become a key figure in the team’s rise to respectability.
Rutschman, 21, got an $8.1 million signing bonus, the largest ever provided to an MLB draft pick. The plan is for him to take a break, then play in the Gulf Coast League before joining short-season Class A Aberdeen (Md.).
“For me, it’s always been about the process of getting there,” Rutschman said. “So now it’s about setting new goals.”
Photo: Patrick Smith / Getty Images
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Elias termed the selection of Rutschman, 21, as “probably the biggest decision this organization is going to make this year.”
Rays lobby for Montreal: The principal owner of the Rays says it’s unrealistic for his team to play full time in the Tampa Bay area, and a shared season with Montreal is the best option.
Stu Sternberg said at a news conference he would be “hard-pressed” for the team to stay exclusively in Tampa or St. Petersburg.
Tampa Bay is averaging under 15,000 fans a game. Commissioner Rob Manfred says the Rays have “broad permission to explore what’s available.”
Briefly: Hard-throwing Cardinals closer Jordan Hicks will have Tommy John surgery on Wednesday. … Kendrys Morales, a first baseman and designated hitter who began the season with the A’s, was reinstated from the 10-day injured list and designated for assignment by the Yankees. … The Rangers activated outfielder Joey Gallo from the injured list. He went 1-for-4 with an RBI double against Detroit. … The Red Sox activated knuckleballer Steven Wright after his 80-game suspension for testing positive for human growth hormone. … Angels DH and pitcher Shohei Ohtani will throw off a mound Wednesday for the first time since having Tommy John surgery at the end of last season, when he was the AL Rookie of the Year. … The Rockies placed infielder Brendan Rodgers on the 10-day injured list with an injured right shoulder.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Eyeing-the-future-Orioles-introduce-No-1-pick-14049991.php.