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08/10/11 7:10 PM ET

Starling talks may go down to the wire

ST. PETERSBURG -- It still looks like a countdown to the deadline in the Royals' quest to sign first-round Draft pick Bubba Starling, at least from the perspective of general manager Dayton Moore.

"It'll be an Aug. 15 decision. That's the way, historically, these things unfold," Moore said on Wednesday.

Moore was asked if the Royals are continuing to talk daily with representatives of agent Scott Boras, who advises Starling, a 6-foot-5 slugging outfielder.

"Not really," Moore said. "We all work toward it, but we're not in daily discussions, no. It really doesn't work that way. There's nothing to talk about right now."

The anticipated bonus figures for Starling's signing range from about $7 million to $10 million.

Last weekend, the University of Nebraska, which has Starling on a football scholarship, acknowledged that the quarterback was not practicing with the Cornhuskers.

"I think he can practice, but somebody has chosen not to practice at this time, whether it's the University of Nebraska or the player," Moore said. "I'm not a hundred percent sure who made that decision. If he was practicing and in full contact, it would cloud the picture a little bit. So I think, until a decision is made, it's the responsible thing to do for everybody."

Teams have until 12:01 a.m. ET on Tuesday, Aug. 16, to come to terms with their draftees, meaning official notification has to be in the Commissioner's Office when the clock strikes midnight. A team that does not sign its first- or second-round pick will receive a compensatory pick in the 2012 Draft. That selection will come at the same slot, plus one. In other words, if a team doesn't sign the No. 9 overall pick, it would receive the No. 10 pick -- technically 9A -- the following year. A team does not receive a 2012 pick if it does not come to terms with a selection made with a compensation pick this year.

Moore remains optimistic.

"We wouldn't have selected him if we didn't think we would ultimately have the opportunity to sign him," Moore said. "But these things sometimes take some unexpected twists and turns, so I don't take anything for granted until the player signs. I never have."

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.