|Royals sign No. 2 overall pick 11 minutes before deadline, 2402014|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 15 August 2007 19:30|
Moustakas gets a $4 million signing bonus.
A Royals spokesman told The Associated Press that agent Scott Boras called general manager Dayton Moore at 11:49 p.m. EDT to say the deal had been struck for Moustakas, a power-hitting infielder out of Chatsworth High School in the Los Angeles area.
The 6-foot, 195-pound shortstop batted .577 during his senior season, breaking the state high school record for career (52) and single-season (24) home runs.
Under a new baseball rule this year, if the sides had not reached agreement by midnight, the Royals would have lost the rights to Moustakas.
``It has been a long day,'' said scouting director Deric Ladnier, who handled the negotiations and had said on draft day that he was confident the young power hitter wanted to join the Royals.
``It's been a long few days. It is an emotional roller coaster. I spoke with Mike a few minutes ago and he's ecstatic to be a part of our family. It's been a long haul. But we feel like we secured a player here that will help this organization win a championship in the future.''
Moore said he actually felt comfortable after the club made its final offer about 8 p.m. EDT.
``I was pretty calm and relaxed,'' Moore said. ``After we made our final offer today, guys will tell you, I felt we'd done everything we could do. When you feel you've done all you can do, it's beyond your control. I'm not going to say we were confident we were going to get a deal done because they hadn't given us an answer.''
The Royals envision Moustakas as their cleanup hitter of the future. Some have compared him with Alex Rodriguez as a power-hitting infield prospect. Combining with third baseman Alex Gordon, the No. 2 overall pick in 2005, and designated hitter Billy Butler, the 14th selection in 2004, the team hopes to construct its most potent lineup since George Brett and Hal McRae led the pennant-winning teams of the '80s.
Ladnier said he wasn't sure when Moustakas would take his physical and be assigned to a minor league team, but that he might well skip a level on his way to the big leagues.
``I think he's going to be an All-Star,'' Ladnier said. ``When that will happen, I'm not smart enough to say. But he's a highly skilled player with a tremendous amount of talent. Ultimately when he does get to the major leagues for the Royals, he's going to be a player who's going to be here for a long time.''