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Nationals, Bryce Harper reach a deal

The Washington Nationals and Bryce Harper agreed to terms on a contract just before Monday's midnight deadline, ending a lengthy negotiation process with the No. 1 overall pick who has the potential to become perhaps the preeminent position player of his generation.

The move adds one of amateur baseball's most prolific hitters to a roster that includes young superstar pitcher Stephen Strasburg, who made his major league debut the day after the club picked Harper.

Terms of the deal struck between Harper's agent, Scott Boras, and Nationals GM Mike Rizzo and team president Stan Kasten were not immediately available, but Harper's signing bonus was expected to surpass $6.25 million, the highest all-time for a position player. The Nationals have allocated $3,799,000 -- still more than $11 million less than what Strasburg received last year in his signing bonus and major league contract. Update: The contract was for $9.9 million over five years with a signing bonus of $6.25 million.

At 17, the power-hitting outfielder is not expected to reach the major leagues for several years, but his impact on the Nationals is unmistakable regardless. Harper established his reputation among scouts when he belted a 502-foot home run with a wooden bat at a high school showcase as a freshman. He later appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated - anointed as "Baseball's Chosen One" - at 16.

Harper's path to the big leagues became so inevitable at a young age that he chose super agent Boras as an advisor. Harper then earned his G.E.D. in order to skip his final two years of high school and dismantled older competition in his lone junior college season at the College of Southern Nevada

During the regular season at CSN, Harper hit .442 with a .986 slugging percentage and a .524 on-base percentage and hit 29 home runs. The old school record, achieved with a metal bat, was 12.

When the Nationals drafted Harper, they said he would move from catcher to the outfield in order to expedite his rise to the major leagues. Harper could reach the majors by the end of the 2012 season. At that point he would be 19, the age at which Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez and Justin Upton - three other teenage top picks - were playing in the majors.

By Gene Wang  |  August 17, 2010; 12:04 AM ET
Categories:  Bryce Harper  | Tags: Bryce Harper  
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Next: Stan Kasten and Mike Rizzo celebrate Bryce Harper signing



Posted by: bromisky | August 17, 2010 12:16 AM | Report abuse

i think he will make it to the majors by the end of 2011 not 2012. i see no reason why he cant

Posted by: slim4 | August 17, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse

$9.9 million according to Bowden, others

Posted by: guest1 | August 17, 2010 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Good deal. Suddenly, the Nationals farm system is looking very good. Rizzo had a great draft.

I have no doubt that he will get Dunn signed to a three year deal.

Posted by: jeffreyt211 | August 17, 2010 12:23 AM | Report abuse

Harp, Harp, Hooray!

Mega-psyched we got the kid, was just reliving some of his monster shots at the Trop on youtube while awaiting the results of the amount. He is indeed a beast.

Posted by: NatAlbert | August 17, 2010 12:25 AM | Report abuse

correct me if i'm wrong, but wasn't the 502 foot dinger with a metal bat? If you watch the video it definitely sounds like a metal bat.

Posted by: recremd | August 17, 2010 12:25 AM | Report abuse

J.D. Drew or Griffey Jr.? Hopefully the later.

Posted by: john_l | August 17, 2010 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, definitely aluminum, but I don't care, it was still longer than anyone else had hit with an aluminum bat.

Posted by: NatAlbert | August 17, 2010 12:26 AM | Report abuse

(disclosure: not sure if that's fully true, but it was the longets a ball had been hit at the Trop, so I'll take that.)

Posted by: NatAlbert | August 17, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Dangit, longest, that is.

Posted by: NatAlbert | August 17, 2010 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Glad to hear the "negotition" went well. :-)

Posted by: Juan-John1 | August 17, 2010 12:30 AM | Report abuse

I now not only expect to see pennant race baseball in Washington for the first time on my lifetime (I turn 55 on Thursday; there hasn't been significant September ball in D.C. since 1945), but postseason play -- and postseason series wins. Thanks for the birthday present, Mr. Rizzo.

Posted by: VPaterno | August 17, 2010 12:31 AM | Report abuse

espn says 5yrs 9.9mil

Posted by: brandon5272lee | August 17, 2010 12:31 AM | Report abuse

5 years, $9.9 million
ESPN confirms

Posted by: guest1 | August 17, 2010 12:34 AM | Report abuse

Nice! This is looking like a heck of a draft if even 20% these guys pan out. Just re=sign Dunn and it'll be the best week ever!

Posted by: HenryStin | August 17, 2010 12:35 AM | Report abuse

Hear, hear, VPaterno!
While I can't quite match your years of experience, I certainly share your enthusiasm, and hopeful expectations!

¬°Go Nationals!

Posted by: NatAlbert | August 17, 2010 12:36 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: 202character | August 17, 2010 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Thank goodness! The kid had me worried. Although it seems ludicrous to pay a 17 year old that kind of money, the Nats needed to make this happen just like they needed to make the Strasburg deal happen. Once again, the Nats have shown they are serious about contending for a World Championship.

The Nats and Scott Boras strike me as odd bedfellows, but the relationship seems to be working. Is it possible that Boras and the Nats want the same thing?

Now, if the Nats can just get Adam Dunn to sign.

Posted by: dannykurland1 | August 17, 2010 12:39 AM | Report abuse

Cheap Lerners.

Posted by: wahoo2x | August 17, 2010 12:59 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Brue | August 17, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

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