2:01pm: MLB.com's Dick Kaegel talked to Royals exec J.J. Picollo, who said:
"Apparently Buster Olney knows something we don't know. There's nothing to report on, there's no confirmed deal or anything. We've picked up the talks with them the last couple of days and that's about it. We're working at it."
Picollo told Kaegel he's pushing to get Crow signed by the end of the week so he can pitch in the Arizona Fall League. Baseball America's John Manuel says Crow is close to signing.
9:43am: The Royals are on the verge of an agreement with first-round pick Aaron Crow, according to ESPN's Buster Olney. Olney says Crow's deal will pay between $3MM and $4.5MM.
The Nationals drafted Crow ninth overall in 2008, but GM Jim Bowden couldn't get a deal done with Crow's agents. The gap was reportedly $900K, with Bowden stopping at $3.5MM and the Hendricks brothers coming down to $4.4MM. Crow then pitched independent ball for the Fort Worth Cats and re-entered the 2009 draft. The Royals picked him 12th overall, and the August 17th signing deadline did not apply. The extra year will probably cost Crow in the long-term; other '08 draft picks such as Brian Matusz, Buster Posey, Gordon Beckham, Ryan Perry, and Daniel Schlereth have already accrued Major League service time.