The Washington Nationals have agreed to a contract with No. 1 overall draft pick Stephen Strasburg.
The last-place team and the hard-throwing righthander from San Diego State faced a deadline of midnight last night to reach a deal. Terms were not disclosed, but according to MLB Network and multiple reports, it's a 4-year contract worth more than $15 million. That exceeds the previous record, the $10.5 million righthander Mark Prior received from the Cubs after the 2001 draft.
Strasburg went 13-1 last season won the Golden Spikes award for the top U.S. amateur player.
Meanwhile, the Seattle Mariners and No. 2 overall pick Dustin Ackley agreed to a 5-year contract, minutes before the deadline. If there had not been an agreement, Seattle would have lost the rights to the star hitter from the University of North Carolina.
Both players are represented by agent Scott Boras.
In addition to Strasburg and Ackley, he was negotiating deals for Donavan Tate (a centerfielder from Cartersville High School in Georgia, selected No. 3 by San Diego), Jacob Turner (a righthander from Westminster Christian Academy in Missouri, taken at No. 9 by Detroit), Grant Green (a Southern Cal shortstop, drafted No. 13 by Oakland) and LeVon Washington (a second baseman from Buchholz High School in Florida, taken by Tampa Bay with the 30th pick).
San Diego announced an agreement with Tate 2 hours before the deadline, a deal worth about $6.25 million. He had planned to play at North Carolina.
The San Francisco Giants beat yesterday's deadline by several hours, agreeing to a $3.3 million deal with righthander Zack Wheeler, out of East Paulding High School in Georgia.
With about 30 minutes left, only three other deals had been announced yesterday for first-round picks. Cincinnati and Arizona State righthander Mike Leake, the No. 8 pick, agreed at $2.27 million. Florida settled at $1.7 million with Chad James, a lefthander from Yukon High School in Oklahoma selected with the 18th pick. St. Louis agreed at $2,875,000 with Shelby Miller, a righthander from Brownwood High School in Texas taken with the 19th pick.
* David Wright is feeling better and expects to play again this season. The New York Mets' All-Star third baseman was back at Citi Field yesterday, 2 days after he was hit flush on the helmet by a 94 mph fastball from San Francisco's Matt Cain. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a concussion. New York reliever Billy Wagner also rejoined the team and is expected to be activated from the DL Friday.
* San Diego righthander Chris Young had arthroscopic surgery on his pitching shoulder and will miss the rest of the season.
In yesterday's games:
* At Atlanta, Ryan Church hit a three-run double in a six-run third inning that lifted Tommy Hanson (8-2) and the Braves past Arizona, 9-4.
* At San Diego, Chase Headley's two-out double in the ninth drove in the tying run and Kyle Blanks' three-run walkoff homer won it as the Padres rallied to beat the Chicago Cubs, 4-1.
* At Los Angeles, Rick Ankiel put St. Louis ahead with a two-run homer in the seventh inning, and Chris Carpenter (13-3) pitched eight innings of five-hit ball in the Cardinals' 3-2 win over the Dodgers.
* At New York, Aaron Rowand homered and had four hits, Joe Martinez (3-1) got the win and San Francisco routed a makeshift Mets team, 9-1, to split the four-game series.
* At Pittsburgh, Andy LaRoche, Garrett Jones and Ronny Cedeno homered and the Pirates beat Milwaukee, 9-5, for just their second victory in 14 games.