Athletics Come To Terms With Bonderman
By John Manuel
The Oakland Athletics and first-round pick Jeremy Bonderman agreed to terms Tuesday, ending the summer's most unique draft negotiations. Terms of the contract were not disclosed, but the A's latest offer is expected to be in the range of $1.35 million, which the club paid first-round pick Bobby Crosby with the selection one spot ahead of Bonderman.
The righthander from Pasco (Wash.) High signed a 2001 contract and is expected to report to short-season Vancouver in the Northwest League, whose season ends Sept. 5. Bonderman was the 26th overall pick in the draft, selected with the pick the A's acquired from the Mets for the free-agent signing of righthander Kevin Appier.
Bonderman was considered to be a relatively easy sign because he had entered the draft as an high school junior. Bonderman, 18, received his general equivalency diploma (GED) in the same fashion as 2000 cause celeb Landon Powell, but unlike Powell, Bonderman entered the draft and did not try to become a free agent.
After being selected with the second of the A's two draft picks, Bonderman didn't sign as quickly as anticipated. Oakland general manager Billy Beane denied reports that the two sides had agreed to a $1.5 million bonus, only to have club owner Steve Schott pull back the offer. Beane also denied any reports that Bonderman's purported learning disability had affected negotiations. Jeff Moorad served as Bonderman's adviser during the negotiations.
The A's also agreed to terms Tuesday with outfielder Marcus McBeth, a fourth-round pick out of South Carolina who was considered one of the top defensive players available in the draft. McBeth signed a 2002 contract. And on Monday, Oakland signed free-agent righthander Luke Robertson out of Kansas State. Robertson signed for a reported $30,000 bonus after going 3-3, 1.46 with 59 strikeouts and 14 walks in 55 innings for Harwich in the Cape Cod League.
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