Rugby World Cup
This Week's Issue
Life of Reilly
SI for Women
CNN/SI - TV
Golf Pro Shop
MLB Gear Store
NFL Gear Store
SI FOR KIDS
Unlike last year, Phils come to terms with No. 1 pick
Posted: Friday July 24, 1998 07:23 PM
NEW YORK (AP) -- The Philadelphia Phillies, determined to avoid a repeat of the J.D. Drew stalemate, and overall No. 1 draft pick Pat Burrell agreed Friday on a five-year contract worth a guaranteed $8 million.
The deal includes a record $3.15 million signing bonus and could be worth up to $16.25 million through the 2004 season if the infielder meets certain standards.
"It's a weight off our shoulders," Phillies general manager Ed Wade said. "Coming to terms with Pat certainly is a huge step for us."
Burrell was the top pick in the June draft after hitting .442 with 61 home runs in three years at the University of Miami. A third baseman in college, he will move to first base when he begins his pro career Monday at Class A Clearwater.
"I'm very excited to get my pro career under way," Burrell said. "The most important thing is that I'm going to be playing this summer. I need time to get adjusted and by signing that will give me the chance."
The Phillies will shift Burrell's position because they have 1997 National League rookie of the year Scott Rolen playing third base. Burrell will work out at Veterans Stadium with the Phillies on Sunday before heading to the minors.
In what already has been a surprising and pleasant season on the field for the Phillies, they wanted to take care of their off-the-field business.
Last year, Philadelphia could not sign Drew after selecting him in the first round with the No. 2 pick. Drew and his agent, Scott Boras, wanted at least $10 million -- about $6 million more than the Phillies offered. While negotiations went nowhere, Drew played in the independent Northern League.
Drew was placed back in this year's draft and was taken as the fifth pick by St. Louis. The former Florida State outfielder got a $3 million signing bonus from the Cardinals and a guaranteed $7 million contract that could be worth up to $8.5 million.
Drew joined Class AA Arkansas on July 4 and played well for three weeks before going on the disabled list because of a twisted right knee.
"Pat and I made it clear to the Phillies that we wanted to move toward a deal as quickly as possible," said Burrell's lawyer, Jeff Moorad. "We all agreed up front that we would do that."
Burrell's signing bonus is the largest for a drafted player who signed with the team that took him. A few years ago, a couple of players taken in the draft used loopholes to become free agents and got at least $10 million.
Along with his $3.1 million bonus, Burrell will get salaries of $750,000 in both 1998 and 1999. The contract calls for $800,000 in 2000, $1,275,000 in 2001 and $1,275,000 in 2002.
If Burrell is eligible for salary arbitration in 2002, however, he can void his guaranteed money and go through the arbitration process.
Also, Burrell's contract includes an option for him to add either one or two years -- provided he wins the rookie of the year award, makes the All-Star team, finishes in the top eight of the MVP voting or is the top hitter at his position.
Should he reach any of those goals, he can add one extra year at $2.75 million and, if he chooses, an additional second year at $5.5 million.
Burrell could also void the 2002 season on his contract and put those higher salaries into effect."We're anxious to get Pat on the field and get him going," Phillies scouting director Mike Arbuckle said. "Pat's signing is another step for us in the right direction."
Copyright © 1999 CNN/SI. A Time Warner Company.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.