Reds Cut It Close, Sign First Rounder Stephenson Just Before Deadline

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The Reds finally got 2011 first round pick RHP Robert Stephenson signed, but not with much time left to spare. With just a few minutes dwindling before the 12:01 AM ET deadline last night the news finally broke that Stephenson would spurn college life at the University of Washington and sign with the Reds.

The signing bonus for Stephenson totaled a cool $2 million and according to Stephenson “it [the contract talks] was at the last minute by the phone waiting for a call.”

Stephenson was one of 23 first round picks that came into Monday without a contract in one of the wildest signing deadlines for a MLB draft ever. Many of those 23 were still unsigned as of 11:45 PM last night. But once the dust settled only one first rounder (Blue Jays’ pick Tyler Beede) didn’t sign.

In other Reds draft pick news, the good guys also agreed to terms with their 22nd round pick Amir Garrett. The 19 year-old LHP signed for a $1 million bonus. Garrett, also a highly touted hoops prospect, agreed to a dual sport contract which will allow him to honor his commitment to play basketball for St. John’s University.

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