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Mark Lerner confident about signing Bryce Harper

Principal Owner Mark Lerner today reiterated his confidence that the Nationals will sign first overall draft choice Bryce Harper, the 17-year-old outfielder and power-hitting prodigy from the College of Southern Nevada they drafted June 7.

"I'm confident we'll get a deal worked out," Lerner said. "I think the kid wants to play."

General Manager Mike Rizzo and super-agent Scott Boras, Harper's representative, have had initial "conversations," Lerner said, but the negotiation is unlikely to begin in earnest until close to the mid-August deadline. With top picks, Boras is known for waiting until the final possible moments.

"It's going to go its normal progression," Lerner said.

Lerner cited a strong working relationship and mutual respect between Rizzo and Boras as one cause for his optimism. Last year, Rizzo and Boras struck a record deal to sign phenon Stephen Strasburg, who today makes his fourth big league start.

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 23, 2010; 3:59 PM ET
Categories:  Bryce Harper  
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Next: Game 73 discussion thread: Nationals vs. Royals


Of course they will on 8/15 at 11:59 pm.

Posted by: tony325 | June 23, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

I guess if you choose Boras as your agent you're sending a pretty clear message that you're not interested in playing any ball this year.

Posted by: lesatcsc | June 23, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

If I didn't ever read another quote from Mark Lerner I would be ok with that.

Posted by: markfromark | June 23, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Is the system currently in place effective in getting rookie salaries under control, or is this all Scott Boras? It seems we're getting screwed by this more often than not.

Posted by: Randy_Hawkins | June 24, 2010 7:50 AM | Report abuse

The top picks in the draft along with any other over slot recommended bonus deals go down to the last minute. It's not always Boras, though the aforementioned players are more often than not represented by him. What MLB should do is move the arbitrary August 15 deadline up one month. Whether the deadline is July 15, August 1 or August 15, these last minute machinations are not going away.

Posted by: Brian_ | June 24, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I thought that when they brought up Storen before June it would allow him to go to arbitration and free agency a year before Strasburg. Wasn't this sending a message to Boras not to drag it out?(remember that Storen signed right away)
I think that if Strasburg had signed right away the Nats would have brought him up by August and he would have been a year ahead..better for Strasburg and better for the Nats

Posted by: jbgordon | June 24, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

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