Pat Connaughton has joined the Baltimore Orioles for extended spring training in Sarasota, Florida, according to Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports. The Portland Trail Blazers wing has not changed his plans to be a two-sport athlete at the professional level.
Connaughton has told the club, and reporters who seek him out, that he eventually wants to pitch for the Orioles and can fulfill both dreams. The Orioles, in turn, remain patient but also wish that he’d commit fully to baseball and accelerate his development.
The Orioles drafted Connaughton with the 121st selection of the 2014 MLB draft and control his baseball rights through the 2020 season. Should he and the Blazers part ways in the future, they will be waiting. In the meantime, Connaughton is keeping his arm loose when he can. He is generally considered a talented pitching prospect.
Connaughton has two years remaining on his contract with the Blazers, but is only guaranteed for the 2016-17 season. If his contract becomes fully guaranteed ahead of the 2017-18 season, he will become a restricted free agent in the summer of 2018.