Jul 13, 2012, 9:24 PM EDT
Updated at 6:35 p.m.
MIAMI — No stranger to down-to-the-wire negotiations with draft picks, the Nationals agreed to contract terms with first rounder Lucas Giolito less than one minute before today’s 5 p.m. deadline, giving the young right-hander $2.925 million and thus subjecting themselves to a tax for exceeding Major League Baseball’s new draft pool cap.
How close to the deadline did the Nationals get before finalizing the deal?
“Dangerously close,” general manager Mike Rizzo said prior to tonight’s second-half opener at Marlins Park.
Giolito, who turns 18 on Saturday, told the Los Angeles Times he agreed to the deal with only 30 seconds to spare.
As is typically the case, the drawn-out negotiations were over dollar figures. The Nationals felt all along Giolito wanted to sign with them but wanted to receive more than the approximately $2.8 million the club had remaining from its pool of $4.4 million for its top 10 draft choices.
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