“In my opinion, Bryce is the greatest amateur player ever to play baseball, and I am talking Mickey Mantle and others.”
— Tim Chambers, Bryce Harper’s college coach, in a piece about how Harper is just itching to sign with the Nats and get playing baseball. No pressure.
Worth noting that there is a 99.99999% probability that Harper will sign before Monday’s deadline. If he sinks back into next year’s loaded draft he loses a lot of money. Likewise, if the Nats don’t sign him it will just kill them, and will have rendered last year’s 100-loss season a disaster.
Why push it to the wire then? My guess is that Major League Baseball pressures the team with the top pick to hold off as late as possible to sign their guy so that the teams who pick from #2 on won’t have their guys saying “well, Harper signed for $X million, so I should get something close to that!”