The Reds have agreed with first-round choice Nick Howard on a $1,990,500 bonus, reports Jim Callis of MLB.com (Twitter link). That falls just $100K shy of the slot allocation that came with the 19th overall pick.
Howard, a closer in his last season at the University of Virginia, is expected to be given a chance to transition into back into a starting role in the Reds organization. He has two strong offerings: a mid-to-high 90s heater and often-devastating slider. On the back of those pitches, Baseball America (25th) and MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis (31st) saw Howard as one of the best arms available.
Howard becomes the last of the team’s choices from the first ten rounds to sign. In total, the club saved $375K on those signings as against its total available pool of just under $7MM, per MLB.com’s signing tracker.