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All’s quiet as Harper deadline nears

Aug 13, 2010, 11:07 PM EDT

The Nationals drafted Bryce Harper more than two months ago. They want to sign the 17-year-old catcher-turned-outfielder. He wants to sign. But there have been virtually no contract negotiations between the two sides, and no one expects serious talks to begin until the final minutes before Monday night’s deadline for all MLB draft picks to sign.

Around the Nats’ front office these days, there’s no panic or stomach-churning over the fact Harper remains unsigned with 72 hours to go. Instead, there’s a realization — as has come to be the case around the sport — that baseball’s current draft-and-sign process is seriously flawed.

“The charade, the kabuki-dance nature of all of this, is just kind of silly,” Stan Kasten said this afternoon. “We can do better than this as an industry. And I think both sides recognize that.”

For the full story on the Harper negotiation and some more colorful quotes from Kasten, check out CSNwashington.com.

  1. Knoxville Nat - Aug 14, 2010 at 2:05 AM

    If he signs, and I think he will, would Harper be eligible to play in the AZ fall league this year?

  2. JayB - Aug 14, 2010 at 2:17 AM

    Strass was so yes but I don't see that happening with a 17 year old.

  3. Steve M. - Aug 14, 2010 at 2:46 AM

    Does this kid want to go to the Pirates or Orioles next year? Take one look at Aaron Crow's career and you know a bird in the hand is better then 2 in the bush!

  4. Anonymous - Aug 14, 2010 at 2:54 AM

    There is absolutely no question that he'll sign; he is not going back to JUCO; in the end they'll settle on something like 8 to 10 mil. Cole is the real tough one because he can go to college; increase his value and come out in a year or 2. It will take mid first round money to get him signed; I think we need to what it takes. Solis and Ray will sign. If they get all 4 this will be an A+ draft for the Nats; if they can't sign Cole it would be a B draft as he is the 2nd best player they drafted. Solis projects to be the fastest to the majors (lost a year to a herniated disc but came back strong for the university of San Diego). As far as Harper being 17; don't kid yourself; both he and the Nats project him to move up quickly; hence the move away from catching. I would not be surprised with an AFL stint.

  5. Anonymous - Aug 14, 2010 at 2:59 AM

    Steve M, next year's draft class is stacked with tremendous college talent led by 3rd baseman Anthony Rendon and several top notch pitchers; that's another reason why Boras won't risk Harper falling out of the no. 1 slot; he's signing.

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