The Washington Times - June 15, 2012, 01:11PM

Lucas Giolito, the Washington Nationals’ first-round pick in the 2012 draft, got a chance to meet a few of his potential future teammates Thursday night as the Nationals welcomed the 17-year-old to D.C. for a visit.

Giolito, whose 6-foot-6, 230-pound frame cuts quite a unique figure, was invited to D.C. for the weekend as the Nationals begin the process of recruiting him to sign with them and forego his commitment to UCLA. 

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How much will come from this weekend with regard to tangible progress toward getting Giolito signed isn’t clear. The Nationals feel that negotiations with Giolito, a CAA client, will come at least close to the July 13 deadline as the right-hander weighs his future. 

A player who may have gone No. 1 overall if an elbow injury hadn’t derailed his senior high school season, Giolito’s slotted into a certain amount of money now that is likely lower than it would have been had he pitched a healthy season and been taken before No. 16 overall.

The Nationals, who were given $4.4 million to sign all of their top 10 picks, have a $2.125 million allotment for their No. 1 pick.

But they’ve done well to sign seven of their top 10 picks for under slot money.

According to Baseball America’s Jim Callis, the Nationals could afford to pay Giolito $3,029,773 without incurring a draft penalty. That doesn’t however, take into account how much it will take for them to sign left-hander Brett Mooneyham (third round) and right-hander Robert Benincasa (seventh round).

There’s just under a month before Giolito absolutely has to decide if he’ll go to UCLA and try to raise his draft stock for the future or if he can see himself in a rotation with Stephen Strasburg, et al, in the coming years. They’ll make their first significant recruiting push this weekend.