Nats sign 1st round pick Erick Fedde, see two return to school

Nats sign 1st round pick Erick Fedde, see two return to school
July 18, 2014, 6:15 pm
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Once again it went down to the wire on Friday, as the Nationals signed their 2014 first round pick Erick Fedde just moments before the 5 p.m. deadline.

The 18th overall pick out of UNLV - a recent recipient of Tommy John surgery - inked a deal with the Nats worth approximately $2.51 million, according to a club source. The recommended contract for Fedde's slot was around $2.1 million, giving the right-hander about $400,000 extra to sign.

The Nationals were happy to get a deal done with Fedde, though they were unable to agree to terms with both their second round pick, lefty Andrew Suarez of the University of Miami, and their ninth round pick, first baseman Austin Byler of Nevada. The Nats will now receive a compensation pick in 2015 for failing to sign Suarez.

"We're excited to have an upside arm such as Fedde in the family," general manager Mike Rizzo said. "I'm looking forward to seeing him and getting him down to Florida and beginning his rehab process. We'll take him through our philosophy in our rehab process and we'll see what the end results are later on."

Rizzo wasn't pleased to see two of his first nine selections go back to school, but is happy to have an extra pick next June.

"It's disappointing to not sign your second round pick, although with the way the new setup is with the draft, we'll get that pick back next year. We'll be really excited to have two second round picks next year," Rizzo said.

As for why the Nationals were unable to sign Suarez and Byler, Rizzo wouldn't divulge much.

"We just couldn't agree to terms," he said. "We're not going to give details on a negotiation, but suffice it to say that we couldn't agree to terms and we'll just leave it at that."

Rizzo said he thought there was a good chance of getting both deals done heading into deadline day.

"I wouldn't describe it as a surprise. We felt that we had a chance to sign all three of them today, but we just couldn't work it out with the other two guys.

"I think that all along I felt that we had reasonable dialogue early on which is always a precursor to getting a deal done. I would have been more surprised not getting Fedde done than anyone else."

Fedde, who had Tommy John on June 3, went 8-2 with a 1.76 ERA in 11 starts this season for UNLV.

Mark Zuckerman contributed to this story