As UCLA's go-to reliever, Dan Klein closed out his share of ballgames last season. The right-handed closer would like to seal up one more thing.
Klein, a third-round selection by the Baltimore Orioles in last month's MLB Draft, has not signed and could therefore return for his redshirt junior season. His situation is complicated because has more leverage than your typical third-year player, meaning he could still potentially increase his stock. And although Klein did not want to elaborate on the specifics of his ongoing negotiations with the Orioles, he added that he wants to sign and is looking forward to taking his talents to the professional ranks.Chris Carlson/Associated Press
Dan Klein hopes wants to take his fist pump to the minors.
"I think I could help myself out if I came back to school," Klein said Tuesday afternoon. "Then again, I'd like to start my pro career now."
For now, Klein is keeping his arm in shape by working out at home. He's not playing in any competitive summer league, so he throws a couple of bullpens every week. His signing can occur any day, so he has to stay ready.
Klein, who saved 10 games and posted a 6-1 record with a team-best 1.90 ERA in 52 innings last season, admitted that he's tangled in a win-win scenario.
"I don't have a problem if things don't work out," he said. "I don't have a problem returning to UCLA and helping them get back to Omaha. I have a great opportunity with the Baltimore Orioles right now. If things don't work out with them -- which I hope they will -- I have no problem going back to school to try to win a national championship."