When it comes to high first round draft picks in baseball, rumors fly when the signing deadline arrives. But the player usually signs a contract. Unfortunately for LSU, that was the case with ace sophomore Kevin Gausman.
The right-hander signed with the Baltimore Orioles moments before the 4 p.m Central deadline Friday. Baseball analyst Keith Law reports that the Orioles signed Gausman for $4.32 million, just above slot at $4.2 million for the fourth overall pick.
Gausman confirmed the deal on Twitter.
“Happy to be the newest member of the Baltimore Orioles organization,” he tweeted. ”Living my dream.”
This season as a sophomore for the Tigers, Gausman went 12-2 with a 2.77 ERA over 123 2/3 innings; he walked 28 and fanned 135 to help lead LSU to the SEC regular season championship.
Negotiations picked up steam this week after reports that Gausman, a draft-eligible sophomore, was strongly considering a return to LSU for his junior year. Baltimore reportedly upped their offer to reel in the 6-foot-5 All-American hurler who throws in the mid- to upper-90's.
"I'm so proud of Kevin, and he's earned everything that's coming his way," LSU head coach Paul Mainieri said when announcing his new signing class. "He developed so much both as a pitcher and as a young man during his time here, and I know the Orioles will benefit tremendously from having Kevin in their organization. I think it says a lot about our program that a young man of Kevin's ability came to LSU and grew both professionally and personally in very significant ways."
Gausman was 5-6 with a 3.51 ERA and 86 strikeouts in 89 2/3 innings in his freshman season in 2011.
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