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More on Hood

Hey fellas, I've just emerged from a writing bubble that produced the story you'll see in tomorrow's paper. You'll also get the news story on Hood, which I pasted below (if you're interested in the full details.) Hood is getting a $1.1 million bonus spread over five years. A team source says that's equivalent to $890,000 given to a player upfront, but either way, Hood is getting above-slot money.

A little breakdown...

* MLB recommends that a No. 55 pick receives roughly $725,000 in bonus money.

* $1.1 million is about equivalent to the slot money given to a late first-rounder.

* Hood's bonus is the largest given so far to any second-rounder.

* Last year's No. 55 pick, Nick Hagadone (BOS) was a supplemental first-rounder who signed for slot money, $571,500. (So yeah, bonuses are up.)

* In 2006, the No. 55 pick, Brett Anderson (ARI) signed for $950,000, well over slot, the second-highest in the round.

* Previous No. 55 picks signed for $635,000 (2005), $635,000 (2004), $620,000 (2003), and $450,000 (2002).

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Now, for the news...

The Washington Nationals today agreed to terms with second-round draft choice Destin Hood, a multi-sport talent whose option to play college football scared off some suitors and whose ultimate decision not to helped Washington land a bargain. Hood is the first of Washington's top five picks this year to sign.

By signing with the Nationals -- a deal that includes a $1.1 million bonus, spread over five years -- Hood, from Mobile, Ala., formally chose a professional baseball career over a football scholarship with the University of Alabama. "He was certainly a first-round talent," Washington General Manager Jim Bowden said, "and he fell to us only because of football and signability."

When the Nationals drafted Hood 55th overall in June, he had already signed a letter of intent to play wide receiver at Alabama. But conversations with Hood before the draft convinced Bowden and others in Washington's front office that Hood loved baseball first.

By signing Hood, the Nationals demonstrated a willingness to again use creative tactics to sign their picks. Hood had been seeking a signing bonus exceeding the total recommended by Major League Baseball for somebody drafted in the second round. A provision, though, specifies that multi-sport athletes needn't receive their signing bonuses up front; they can be spread over multiple years. That allows the team to raise the bonus's amount and dilute its immediate impact.

The money Hood will receive over five years is akin to a $890,000 bonus given entirely up front to a typical player, a source said. Major League Baseball recommends that players chosen in Hood's position receive bonuses of approximately $725,000. A $1.1 million bonus is slot money for a player chosen at the end of the first round.

Hood will be assigned to the Nationals' Gulf Coast League affiliate in Viera, Fla. The team believes that he can reach the majors within three or four seasons. "This guy has all the ingredients," assistant general manager Mike Rizzo said, "to be a power-hitting corner outfielder."

By Chico Harlan  |  July 17, 2008; 7:38 PM ET
 
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