Time running out for Nats to sign first-round pick
Club staring down 5 p.m. ET Friday deadline to bring righty Fedde into fold
WASHINGTON -- The Nationals have until Friday at 5 p.m. ET to sign right-hander Erick Fedde, the 18th overall pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft.
It's not known how negotiations are going between the two parties, but The Washington Post quoted a baseball source who said he would not be surprised if the deadline passes without a deal being reached.
General manager Mike Rizzo believed Fedde would have been a top 10 pick if not for the Tommy John surgery he had on June 3, two days before the Draft. Whenever a player slips in the Draft due to injury, it further complicates negotiations, but the day after Fedde was selected, he said he was not worried about getting signed and believed everything would work out.
"I'm just worried about getting healthy and going from there," Fedde said. "The arm hurts a little. But it's not too bad. I'm not sure about the whole recovery process. … Hopefully, it will be about a year when I'm back on the mound."
The assigned value to the No. 18 selection is $2,145,600, but according to MLB.com's Jim Callis, another club had offered Fedde $3 million if it could grab him in the second round. As of now, Washington could go "above slot" and give Fedde as much as $2,567,785 without surrendering a future first-round pick.
That max amount will decrease if the Nats have to exceed slot values or are unable to sign left-handed pitcher Andrew Suarez ($987,800 at No. 57) or first baseman Austin Byler ($145,900 at No. 274). Suarez is expected to come to terms, while Byler likely will return for his senior season at the University of Nevada.
If Fedde is not signed, the Nationals will get the 19th overall pick in the 2015 Draft as compensation.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.