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.
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