- The Washington Times - Friday, July 18, 2014

The Nationals agreed to terms with right-handed pitcher Erick Fedde on Friday just before the 5p.m. deadline for Major League Baseball teams to sign draft picks.

Fedde, 21, was chosen No. 18 overall in June’s draft in part because he underwent Tommy John surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right elbow on June 3. Fedde was the Mountain West pitcher of the year at UNLV. He was once a high school teammate of Washington outfielder Bryce Harper in their native Las Vegas.

Fedde signed for a total package worth over $2.5 million, according to Jim Callis of MLB.com. The slot value for that pick set by MLB was $2,145,600. Fedde will follow the organization’s protocol for rehabbing Tommy John pitchers. They have extensive experience in that area in recent years.

“We’re gonna get him down to Florida and we’ll assess where he’s at,” Washington general manager Mike Rizzo said. “We’ve already been in contact with the surgeons and the doctors that have treated him so far and we’ll just take the process now and put him on the Nationals’ calendar and begin our protocol that we’ve done with so many pitchers already.”

Fedde, 6-fot-4, 180 pounds, was 8-2 with a 1.76 ERA at UNLV this season.

Washington did not however, sign second-round pick Andrew Suarez, who turned down the team’s offer and will pitch his senior year at the University of Miami. That means the team received selection No. 58 in the 2015 draft.

“Well, we’re not gonna give details on a negotiation,” Rizzo said. “Suffice it to say we couldn’t agree on terms and we’ll just leave it at that.”

Washington’s ninth-round pick, first baseman Austin Byler (Nevada), also didn’t sign and will return to school.

• Brian McNally can be reached at bmcnally@washingtontimes.com.

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