2:22pm: The team’s second-round pick, Andrew Suarez, has announced that he will return to the University of Miami rather than sign via his Instagram account. The Hurricanes also tweeted an announcement that the left-hander will be returning.
MLB.com’s Jim Callis tweets that with the Nats not signing Suarez or ninth-round pick Austin Byler, the max amount they can give Fedde without losing a first-round pick is $2,511,100.
2:08pm: Fedde’s signing bonus will be between $2.5MM and $2.6MM, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (on Twitter).
1:32pm: The Nationals are nearing a deal with first-rounder Erick Fedde, reports Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post (on Twitter). A deal between the two sides will “almost certainly” get done in advance of today’s signing deadline, which is just two and a half hours away.
Fedde was projected as a potential top 10 pick in the draft before the difficult news that he would require Tommy John surgery caused him to slide. The Nationals, never ones to let an injury scare prevent them from drafting a high-end talent (they also selected Lucas Giolito in the first round in 2012), snatched the UNLV ace up with the 18th overall pick, which carries a slot value of $2,145,600. As Kilgore noted in a previous piece, there were teams in the late first round that had expressed interest in going as high as $3MM on a signing bonus for Fedde, making his negotiations with the Nats complicated, to say the least.
Fedde’s operation caused him to slide down pre-draft rankings. Keith Law ranked him 27th at ESPN.com, while Baseball America had him ranked 24th, and MLB.com’s duo of Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo ranked him 33rd.