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O's closer to signing first-rounder Stewart

Duquette says club making progress with Florida State outfielder

BOSTON -- The Orioles remain in talks with first-round pick DJ Stewart, and executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette indicated before Wednesday's game against the Red Sox that progress is being made.

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"DJ Stewart I expect to sign, and I don't know the exact timetable," Duquette said. "If we can progress in our discussions, and get out him out playing for next week, that's what we're shooting for. We'd like to see him out playing ball. I think he wants to go out and play ball, too."

Asked if the O's felt they had made some headway into adding the young outfielder fairly quickly, Duquette said: "I believe he wants to start his pro career, and we'd like him to start his pro career, so that's a mutual sentiment."

Stewart, who was selected from Florida State, was the 25th overall pick in this year's Draft. He batted .318 with 15 home runs, 59 RBIs, a .500 on-base percentage and 69 walks as a junior. He was named the Atlantic Coast Conference's Player of the Year as a sophomore.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.
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