PHOENIX -- Reds general manager Dick Williams and the club squeezed all it could out of the deadline to sign No. 2 overall pick Hunter Greene on Friday afternoon. Ultimately, the deal was reached as the club inked Greene to a $7.23 million bonus.It was the largest Draft bonus since
PHOENIX -- Reds general manager Dick Williams and the club squeezed all it could out of the deadline to sign No. 2 overall pick Hunter Greene on Friday afternoon. Ultimately, the deal was reached as the club inked Greene to a $7.23 million bonus.
It was the largest Draft bonus since bonus-pool restrictions were instituted in 2012 and an all-time record for a high school pitcher. The deadline to sign '17 MLB Draft picks was 5 p.m. ET.
"I was pretty stressed there today," Williams said. "You never know until you dot the i's and cross all the t's. I don't think it would be an exaggeration to say it came down to the final seconds instead of minutes."
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Williams remained in Colorado after the team left for Arizona so he could be in direct contract with Reds CEO Bob Castellini, who was there on business. Reds amateur scouting director Chris Buckley was also a point person in talks.
Greene, 17, was the only player picked in the top 10 of this year's Draft to remain unsigned. Selected out of Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, Calif., the right-handed pitcher was ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the Draft by MLBPipeline.com. He is also a veteran of MLB's Urban Youth Academy in Compton, and he was a member the 2015 United States' gold-medal-winning 18-and-under Baseball World Cup club.
Despite wanting to sign Greene, however, Williams and his group were willing to walk away if a deal couldn't get done. The Reds, which would have received the No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 Draft as compensation, did not want to incur any penalties for going over their bonus pool allotment of $13,658,400 to sign their top 11 picks.
Greene's deal, Williams said, got them right around that number without going over.
"Anybody that aspires to be a GM should have shadowed me today. That would have disabused them of the notion, I think," Williams joked. "It was just tough because there was a lot at stake. What made going through today a little easier was knowing that Bob Castellini, Walt Jocketty, my staff, Chris Buckley, we were all a united front on where we wanted to go with this negotiation. That made it easy. Internally, we were in agreement. We were at peace with where we were willing to go. If it didn't work out, we were at peace with the consequences.
"That being said, our strong preference was to get this young man signed, because we think he is a generational talent and we really think he's going to have a positive impact on our team."
Greene has already been to Cincinnati and passed his physical. The next step remains fluid, but he will either report to Rookie-level Billings or the AZL Reds in Goodyear, Ariz.
"We think he's got impeccable character and pretty impressive on-field ability," Williams said. "He's the kind of guy we want to sign and build around. The guys we've taken at the top of the Draft the last two years, not just the first round but top couple of rounds, are going a long towards rebuilding this franchise the way we want going forward. Hunter is a big part of that."
Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.