Bryce Harper Accepts Nationals Offer
Bryce Harper is officially a member of the Washington Nationals after the MLB’s top pick this year agreed to a $9.9-million five-year contract just before the deadline for draft signings elapsed at midnight on Monday.
Harper, a 17-year-old out of the College of Southern Nevada, thus becomes the highest-paid non-pitcher to be signed out of the draft without becoming a free agent. Harper, a power-hitting catcher, had a .443 batting average with 31 home runs for the College of Southern Nevada in his one-year stay with the school.
The deal appeared uncertain about a day before the deadline, but Nationals manager Mike Rizzo said that both sides agreed to soften their stance to reach a compromise before the deadline. “Suffice it to say, both sides gave up ground at the last second to get the deal done,” Rizzo said.
Agent Scott Boras said the negotiation focused mainly on the potential of Harper, who skipped his last two years of high school and got his GED to become the first JUCO to top the annual amateur draft.