MLB Draft 2014: Nationals' 1st Round pick Erick Fedde remains unsigned, chatter picking up

Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo and Asst. GM Kris Kline answer questions after the 1st Round of the 2014 Draft - Photo © and courtesy @Nationals

Negotiations between the Washington Nationals and 2014 1st Round pick Erick Fedde will likely go down to the wire as the Nats' talks with Lucas Giolito did the last time GM Mike Rizzo had a first-round pick to sign. How close to $3M can Fedde get?

The Washington Nationals didn't have a first-round pick last season, having given it up in order to sign free agent closer Rafael Soriano.

The Nats' top pick in 2013 was second-rounder Jake Johansen and they were confident that the right-hander would sign quickly.

"He's a 6'6'', 235 lb right-handed pitcher. If you put him next to [2012 1st Round pick Lucas] Giolito, you have some pretty good-looking bookends." -Kris Kline on Nats' 2012 2nd Round pick Jake Johansen

"We wouldn't have taken him if we couldn't sign him," Assistant GM and VP of Scouting Operations Kris Kline assured reporters.

"We all talked to him at length this week," now-former Assistant GM Roy Clark said, "and we felt good about it. We felt like this kid wants to go out and like Kris said, I think we'll get it done."

Kline said that a deal would likely happen quickly.

"I think Jake's very excited to start his career," he explained, "and we'll get this done as soon as we possibly can."

Twenty-four hours later the 6'6'' right-hander out of Dallas Baptist University agreed to a deal for the recommended slot bonus of $820,000.

"Yes, sir, the deal was on slot," Johansen told a reporter who asked after the agreement was announced.

The previous summer, in the first year under the rules of the current CBA, 2012 1st Round pick Lucas Giolito and the Nationals went down to the wire before agreeing on a $2.925M bonus, which was above the recommended slot bonus of $2.125M for the 16th overall pick.

"He'll touch 100. He's got a power curve ball that's 80-85, very good feel for his changeup, tremendous size, excellent leverage to his delivery." -Kris Kline on 2012 1st Round pick Lucas Giolito, June 2012

Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo told reporters, including The Washington Post's Adam Kilgore, after the deal was finally announced, that it came close to not happening:

"'It was dangerously close to the deadline,' General Manager Mike Rizzo said. 'There was a time there that we thought it was a possibility that it wouldn’t get done. Right there at the end, it got a little hairy. For the first time, I thought we might not get it done. Cooler heads prevailed.'"

Giolito, the last of Washington's picks from the first 10 rounds in 2012 to sign, was considered a potential no.1 overall pick before the now-20-year-old right-hander suffered an elbow injury in his final high school season.

The Nationals drafted and signed him knowing he might eventually need Tommy John surgery, which he did, but he's back on the mound now and currently the no.1 prospect in the organization.

"He doesn't throw anything straight. A lot of life, very heavy. Above-average slider, up to 88 and the makings and flashes of an above-average changeup." -Kris Kline on Nats'1st Round pick Erick Fedde

The Nats' 2014 1st Round pick, Erick Fedde, taken 18th overall, underwent Tommy John two days before he was drafted after tearing the UCL in his right arm during his final season at UNLV.

Adam Kilgore at the WaPost wrote Tuesday that a "person familiar with the negotiations" said they, "'wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t get done.'"

Fedde is rumored to be seeking something in the area of $3M. The recommended bonus for the 18th overall pick this season is $2,145,600. A $3M bonus would be the seventh-highest handed out so far this season.

Both Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo and Asst. GM Kris Kline said after the Draft last June that they saw Fedde going much higher before he suffered the torn UCL.

"Early in the year we had him certainly as a Top 10 guy and possibly even higher than that," Rizzo told reporters after making Fedde the Nats' top pick.

"I actually saw his first start of the year at UNLV, and it was really, really good," Kline said. "I walked out of there thinking that we've got no shot at getting this player because he's a Top 5-type guy.

So will Fedde get paid like he went 5-10 instead of 18th?

CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman joined the discussion this afternoon, writing that it, "looks like one that will go right down to the deadline Friday, at the very least."

Heyman, like the WaPost's Adam Kilgore before him, writes that, "Fedde's side is believed to have cited the deal for Lucas Giolito," as the basis for their $3M request though, as the WaPost writer did, he notes that the Nationals, "likely pointed out their belief that Giolito had an even higher ceiling," and while no.9 overall pick Jeff Hoffman, who underwent Tommy John as well, received $3.08M from Toronto, Washington is, "... said to have started out much lower than that."

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