Tim Beckham’s $6.15 million bonus deal with the Rays is now official. He’ll fly to Princeton, W.Va., on Sunday to join Tampa Bay’s Rookie-level Appalachian League affiliate, and he’ll probably work out for a few days before making his pro debut.
Rays scouting director R.J. Harrison said the plan all along was to try get the five-tool shortstop from Griffin (Ga.) High signed quickly so he could get 200 or so pro at-bats this summer.
"It was very important for us going into this, and Tim and his family felt the same way," Harrison said. "Both sides worked hard to get a deal done beause these first two months are so critical to a player’s development."
Beckham’s signing means that Tampa Bay now has come to terms with 12 of its first 14 picks in the draft, with Arizona high school lefthander Kyle Lobstein (second round) and Oregon prep outfielder Ty Morrison (fourth round) the only exceptions.
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