UPDATED WITH ZDURIENCIK QUOTES AND CONTRACT BREAKDOWN
Well, that sure was a whole lot of drama and suspense. But the Mariners have signed No. 2 overall pick Dustin Ackley.
There has been some back and forth about his contract’s worth. It was first said to be $9.5 million, then $7.5 million. Turns out both figures were sort of right.
Ackley, according to Baseball America, gets a five-year major league deal with $6 million in signing bonus money and $1.5 million in salary. He can also get up to $2.5 million in additional salary depending on how quickly he gets to the majors.
“We’re very happy to get this young kid,” Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik said of Ackley moments ago. “We feel he’s a player who’s going to bat in the middle of our lineup for years to come.”
Zduriencik said: “It went down to the last few minutes…it got down to the very end and we’re happy we have the young man on board.”
The Mariners have also signed fifth-round pick Tyler Blandford.
They have yet to decide where Ackley will start playing. He’s on the 40-man roster, will play in the Arizona Fall League and get a major league invite to spring training. The Mariners had a 40-man spot available, so that part worked out.
“We’ll talk about that,” he said. “Certainly, we’ll get him to Arizona as quickly as possible. We need to gauge where he’s at.”
Zduriencik doesn’t feel the time it took to get Ackley signed will impact his play. In fact, he added, it’s probably a good thing he had the summer off after that Tommy John surgery on his elbow in 2008 and his full college season this year.
The GM was asked whether putting Ackley on the 40-man roster was a key to getting the deal done.
Zduriencik paused to consider the question, then said:
“I think the key was Dustin’s desire to play,” he said. “That’s the key.”
Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com intially reported the deal.
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