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Fedde agrees, but no deal with second-rounder

Right-hander was Nats' first pick, No. 18 overall; Suarez says he's returning to college

Fedde agrees, but no deal with second-rounder

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals and their top Draft pick, right-hander Erick Fedde, agreed to terms on a deal worth $2,511,100, according to MLB.com's Jim Callis.

General manager Mike Rizzo felt that a deal would get done between the two parties. The deal was reached before the Friday 5 p.m. ET deadline. Fedde was advised by Scott Boras.

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"I think that all along we felt we had reasonable dialogue early on, which is always a precursor to getting a deal done," Rizzo said. "I would have been more surprised not to get Fedde done than anybody else."

In the meantime, the Nationals were unable to sign left-hander Andrew Suarez, their second-round pick. The news was announced by the University of Miami, which said Suarez was returning to the school. Suarez was 9-3 with a 2.95 ERA this past season for Miami.

Rizzo declined to say why Suarez was not signed, but is pleased to have two second-round picks in next year's Draft.

"It's disappointing not to sign your second-round pick, although with the way the new setup is with the Draft, we'll get that pick back next year and we'll be really excited to have two second-round picks next year."

As for Fedde, he underwent Tommy John surgery a couple of days before the Draft. Rizzo felt he could have been a top 10 pick if not for the surgery. In his final year at UNLV, Fedde had an 8-2 record and a 1.76 ERA in 11 starts.

Fedde was named the 2014 Mountain West Pitcher of the Year and to the All-Mountain West First Team after going 6-1 with a league-leading 1.60 ERA in eight starts in conference play. He was also named a Louisville Slugger Second-Team All-American by Collegiate Baseball and to the midseason Golden Spikes Award watch list.

"He's really progressed since being in high school," Rizzo said. "He's really come on the last two years and just took it to a different level this year as a junior. Before the injury he was really climbing up a lot of Draft boards.

"Some pretty good scouts with the Nationals really thought he was a special type of guy, so with that said, we feel really good about his upside. He's a big, physical right-handed pitcher that has good stuff and commands it well. His repertoire is deep and we feel he's going to be a successful starting pitcher in the big leagues soon."

Fedde is expected to go to Florida and begin his rehab. Fedde is not expected to pitch in a game until sometime next year.

"We're excited to have an upside arm such as Fedde in the family," Rizzo said. "[We are] looking forward to seeing him and getting him down to Florida and beginning his rehab process and take it through our philosophy and our rehab process and see what the end results are later on.

"We're going to follow our protocol, our Tommy John rehab protocol. We're going to get him down to Florida and we'll assess where he's at. We've already been in contact with the surgeons and doctors that have treated him so far, and we'll just take the process now and get him on the Nationals calendar and begin to follow the protocol we've done with so many of our pitchers already."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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