As you will recall, with the #2 pick in last month’s MLB draft, the Cincinnati Reds selected pitcher/shortstop Hunter Greene from Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California. Greene, an athletic 6’4″ prospect, has been called the best high school right-hander of all time, and he has already appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

As today’s deadline approached without the Reds and Greene reaching an agreement, everyone was getting a little antsy. As reported by the Enquirer‘s Zach Buchanan:

As Cincinnati Reds president of baseball operations Dick Williams prepared to head with the team to Phoenix for the final series before the All-Star Break, it became more and more likely that the team’s negotiations with No. 2 overall pick Hunter Greene could go down to the wire. The Reds have until Friday at 5 p.m. Eastern to sign Greene.

If they don’t meet that deadline, Greene will be unable to enter the pros for at least another year. He could go to a junior college and re-enter the draft next year, or honor his commitment to UCLA and become draft eligible again in three years.

Go read the entire piece (and subscribe to the Enquirer, for crying out loud).

If you were following the drama on twitter, you know that everyone was freaking out. Because the Reds and Greene literally took these negotiations down to the wire. Finally, the news emerged, at 5:01 p.m.:

So there you have it. Greene is in the fold, signed to a contract with a $7.23 million bonus, the highest bonus ever. Exciting times.

And what a relief it is for everyone involved. Can you imagine if the Reds had been unable to get Greene’s signature on a contract? It would be a bad look for everyone involved, as Trent noted.

Of course, it wouldn’t have been a total loss. If the Reds had been unable to sign him, they would have received the #3 pick in next year’s draft, along with whatever high pick they’re likely to earn with this year’s on-field performance. That ain’t nothin’, as they say.

But with all the hype surrounding Greene, the Reds had to get a deal inked. And they did, even if it took every last second for the ink to dry. Whew.

12 Responses


    Will he show up in Billings or take a vacation first? Need to keep his pitch count down.

    • Gaffer

      Actually the opposite, he barely threw this year. He was making sure he did not get injured.

  2. Big56dog

    Man I resigned myself how this was not going to work out, someone tell me this is a good thing because I saw all these pros of not signing him
    – the can put all that money for a top tier Free agent in 2019 when they are competitive and do not have to wait around 4 or 5 years for this kid to ML ready
    – Baseball players are overpaid-let him miss out on all that money
    – Reds do horrible with high school pitchers
    – they would get the #1 and #3 pick next season and get college players that will be big league ready before him
    – I could root for him to be a bust (just like I rooted for Lebron- know one can be that good..right??

    • tralfaz

      Time will tell if it’s a good thing or not, but I believe it was the best option available now. As for the pros of not signing him, saving $7 million doesn’t get you very far with top tier free agents who now want $20 to $25 million a year. While it’s true that high school pitchers often don’t work out, I’m not as concerned because of the fact that he’s also a top flight prospect as a position player. Now that he’s signed I just hope the one of the geniuses at GABP doesn’t look at his 102 mph fastball and say “hey we should get his feet wet with the big club by bringing him out of the bullpen”. Given how they bungled the Chapman situation, the first guy that says that should get fired. If he can pitch and his arm stays healthy he has to be a starter, if God forbid he hurts his arm and can’t start the best value would be to then develop him as a position player.

  3. Mark Lang

    Oh, thank God – I was worried they’d have to dump a record amount of money to get him signed.

    Under what scenario – for a small market team – is spending more for a signing bonus for a #2 pick (not even #1) than any other team in the history of baseball a “good” thing?

    • jazzmanbbfan

      In my opinion it’s neither good nor bad as far as the $$$ spent. It’s what the market is. The Reds could have declined to sign him but they had a pool of $$$ available to spend on their first several picks without penalty. They managed to get them all signed, including Greene, and stay under the penalty. It worked out and, if all of the scouting reports are accurate, he has the potential to be a super star. They’ve spent a lot more money on players that didn’t work out than what they spent on signing Greene.

    • Brad

      His contract is only 40,000 over what his slot was. Not going to make or break any team! If he turns out to be a star he will make the reds millions of dollars on his rookie contract! If he flops, it will be unfortunate but it won’t make be detrimental to the team!!

  4. DHud

    I just for the life of me can’t fathom how the Reds even let this be a possibility. Dick Williams called him a “generational talent” today. If the team truly thinks that highly of him, PAY THE KID and get him in a uniform!

  5. Brian Davis

    Its unreal how much money they have to give to these guys that might not ever play in the majors. Things were better when the prospect had to work his way up to the big money.

    • I-71_Exile

      I contracted some hitting lessons for my son a few years ago from a minor leaguer who had just retired and he made it very clear how much the non-first rounders struggled to make ends meet. I can confirm that it looked like his junker of a car was well lived in.