Safe! Nats agree to terms with top pick Harper
Contrary to this report, the roster bonuses in 2014 and 2015 that Harper earns in his contract are not worth $2 million per year, but rather $500,000 per year. I regret the error.
For the second year in a row, the Washington Nationals went down to the wire to sign the first overall draft pick, and for the second year in a row the team beat the deadline.
The Washington Nationals announced just after midnight Tuesday morning that they had signed catcher/outfielder Bryce Harper to a major-league contract. Terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed, but Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated reported that Harper received a $6.25 million bonus and $9.9 million guaranteed over five years, as well as $2 million in roster bonuses in 2014 and 2015. By comparison with Harper's deal, Stephen Strasburg received $15.1 million over four years to sign with Washington. Many baseball insiders had predicted the deal would go down to the last minute of the midnight deadline, but would get done, and that is precisely what happened.
Harper, 17, played last season for the College of Southern Nevada, a junior college in the wood-bat using Scenic West Athletic Conference (SWAC). Harper recorded a .443 batting average, a .526 on-base percentage and a .987 slugging percentage, as well as 31 home runs and 98 runs batted in. A Las Vegas native, Harper received his GED after his sophomore year of high school in order to be eligible for the 2010 MLB Draft
The Nationals selected Harper with the first overall pick of the draft back on June 7. In all, the team was able to sign 25 of their top 26 selections. The exception was Virginia Tech SS Timothy Smalling, the team's fourteenth-round pick, who suffered a shoulder injury in the final game of the college season.
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