Aug 17, 2010, 2:37 AM EDT
Rest easy, everyone: Bryce Harper has signed with the Nationals.
The 17-year-old and the Nats came to terms on a contract shortly before tonight’s midnight deadline, ensuring the No. 1 draft pick will enter the organization’s farm system and begin his trek toward a possible major-league debut in the next two or three seasons.
Terms of the deal weren’t immediately known, but Harper was given a major-league contract.
UPDATE AT 12:47 A.M. — Just got back from the pseudo-press conference with the Nats front office. There’s plenty to digest and relay here, but let me just start by saying of all the things I thought I might see tonight, Stan Kasten slamming a whipped cream pie in Mike Rizzo’s face was not on my list.
UPDATE AT 1:02 A.M. — Sorry, meant to post this a few minutes ago, but the contract is five years for $9.9 million. $6.25 million of that is the signing bonus. The rest is salaries from 2009-2014. Also, because he got a big-league contract and will have to use one of his options this year, he’ll be out of options in spring training 2013 and thus HAVE to make the Opening Day roster. (I could be wrong about this, but I’m pretty sure that’s correct.)
UPDATE AT 1:21 A.M. — OK, it appears I was wrong (big surprise). A few people on Twitter say a player with less than five years of professional experience can get a fourth option year. So it would appear Harper could still be optioned to the minors in 2013 but would be out of options by 2014.
UPDATE AT 1:47 A.M. — The full, final version of the story, complete with quotes, contract terms and other details about the plan for Harper now, is up on CSNwashington.com. (Edit to add: You can also see the video of Mike Rizzo getting a pie in the face and wearing the Silver Elvis wig.)
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