Unsigned Orioles Pick Jack Conlon Becomes Free Agent

The Orioles did not sign fourth-round pick Jack Conlon, a Texas A&M signee out of Clemens High in Sugar Land, Texas. But that’s not where the story ends.

Sources indicated to BA and an official with Major League Baseball has confirmed that Conlon will become a free agent.

Draft rules state that if a player fails his physical, the team must offer the player 40 percent of the slot value of the pick in order to receive a compensation pick. If the team makes no offer, the player becomes an unrestricted free agent and is not subject to the draft bonus pool system, and the team cannot receive a compensation pick for the unsigned pick.

The Orioles alleged that Conlon failed his physical with the team, and they made no offer to Conlon after the results of his physical. Baltimore’s big league club, under owner Peter Angelos, has a long history of not signing players after physical exams, though those same players have passed physicals with other teams.

Conlon was expected to sign with the Orioles prior to the results of his physical, with his bonus demands likely being more than $1 million. Sources indicated there would be a 48-hour period before Conlon can start fielding free-agent offers, though MLB had yet to confirm that.

Conlon ranked No. 239 on the BA500 prior to the draft. His pre-draft scouting report:

Some projectable prospects are able, and others are projects. At the beginning of the 2016 summer showcase circuit, Conlon was more of a project. He showed plus arm speed and durable body, but he struggled to repeat his mechanics and had a severe head whack. He improved throughout the summer, and threw quality strikes as the circuit progressed. That progress continued this spring, when Conlon came out with a much cleaner, easier delivery and in outstanding physical shape. His fastball works consistently in the low 90s and touches 95 mph and Conlon has feel for a sharp slider that competes in the strike zone. He’s flashes some feel for a changeup, but the pitch is far from what it could be with more reps. Conlon is praised for his attitude and approach to the game, as well as his work ethic and desire to improve. He has the arm speed and the frame to eventually sit in the mid 90s and touch higher. Conlon is committed to Texas A&M, where he could develop into a high draft pick, but some pro teams have expressed significant interest in him this spring.

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