Bryce Harper signed with the Washington Nationals on Monday, just barely beating the deadline before he would be unable to sign with the club. Â Harper was the No. 1 pick in the 2010 MLB Draft, and had until midnight Eastern on Monday night in order to come to terms on a contract. Â The deal with the Nationals will pay Harper $9.9 million over the next five seasons, giving the Nationals another top shelf prospect in their system. Â Getting the deal done was a necessity for the Washington Nationals, and they were pushed to the brink by their selection and his agent Scott Boras.
This is the second straight year that the Washington Nationals had the No. 1 pick in the draft, and were taken all the way to the deadline before they were able to sign him. Â The first pick in the 2009 MLB Draft was Stephen Strasburg, and he didn't sign with the Nationals until a few minutes before last year's deadline. Â When Strasburg signed, he was given $15.1 million over a four year span. Â Getting Harper to sign for five years at a much lower rate seems to be a steal for the Nationals, and makes this a "win" in the column for Washington. Â Getting Harper and his hitting skills into the Nationals farm system will surely elevate this team over the coming seasons.
Harper had a batting average of .443 with 31 home runs and 98 RBI last season, making him the overwhelming favorite to be selected first in the 2010 MLB Draft. Â He will now report to the Nationals, most likely to their rookie league team, and could get promoted out of there as soon as he proves he is ready to make the jump. Â The rains might be lifting in Washington very soon.
Source: ESPN Report on Signing