Reds sign first-round pick Hunter Greene at deadline

Hunter Greene meets Hall of Famer Don Newcombe during batting practice before a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Dodger Stadium on April 28, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

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Hunter Greene meets Hall of Famer Don Newcombe during batting practice before a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Dodger Stadium on April 28, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

No. 2 pick receives $7.23 million bonus, according to reports

The signing of first-round pick Hunter Greene by the Cincinnati Reds on Friday just before the 5 p.m. deadline was the equivalent of a buzzer-beating shot. There's no clock in baseball. That'll have to do as the comparison.

"I was pretty stressed today," General Manager Dick Williams said. "You never know until you dot the Is and cross the Ts. I don't think it would be an exaggeration to say it came down to the final seconds instead of the final minutes."

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As a senior at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, Calif., Greene hit .324 with six home runs. On the mound, he had a 0.75 ERA with 43 strikeouts in 28 innings. The Reds took with him the No. 2 overall pick in June.

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If the Reds had not signed Greene, he would not have been able to play pro baseball for another year. His options would have been to go to a junior college or an independent league team with the option of returning to the draft in 2018 or going to UCLA, his college choice, in which case he would have had to wait three years.

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The Reds would have received a No. 3 compensatory pick in the draft next year had they not signed Greene. According to Jim Callis, of MLB.com, Greene received a $7.23 million signing bonus, the biggest ever paid in the bonus pool era.

"Anybody who aspires to be a GM should have shadowed me today," Williams said. "I would have disabused them of that notion. It was was tough just because there's a lot at stake. What made going through today a little easier was knowing Bob Castellini, Walt Jocketty, my staff, Chris Buckley, we were all on a united front with where we wanted to go with this negotiation. If it didn't work out, we were at peace with the consequences. That being said our strong preference was to get this young man signed because we think he is a generational talent, and we really think he's going to have a positive impact on our team."

The next step for Greene likely will be playing in the rookie league with the Billings (Mont.) Mustangs.

“I think we’ll probably place him at Billings to start,” Williams said, “but because Billings is on the road right now there’s a chance we’ll have him report to Arizona and get initiated there and get some follow-ups to his physical and get him throwing a little bit.”

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