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Meyer, Nationals agree to deal

Former Kentucky pitcher Alex Meyer agreed to terms with the Washington Nationals just moments before the deadline to sign draftees on Monday night.

Alex Meyer agreed to terms with the Washington Nationals on Monday. The contract included a $2 million signing bonus, according to Baseball America.

Meyer, a 6-foot-9, 220-pound right-hander from Greensburg, Ind., was taken 23rd overall in the MLB First-Year Player's Draft on June 6 but the deal did not become official until late Monday night.

The Major League Baseball Commissioner's office discourages teams from signing top picks until the day of the deadline so the prices associated with the top draft slots don't spiral out of control.

Meyer's deal included a $2 million signing bonus according to John Manuel of Baseball America.

Meyer pitched brilliantly as a junior for the Cats in 2011. He threw 101 innings with an earned run average of 2.94. That included four complete games and two shutouts, and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 110-46. He struggled through his first two years at Kentucky but was able to more effectively mix in a third pitch, his change-up, as a junior. He also found much more control over his fastball, which consistently sat in the mid- to high-90s. League coaches named him to the All-SEC's second team.

He finished his three-year career at Kentucky having pitched 211 2/3 innings with a 4.72 ERA.

Meyer was selected in the 20th round by the Boston Red Sox out of Greensburg High School. Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein offered Meyer over $2 million to sign, according to the Kentucky Kernel, but Meyer declined to spend three years at Kentucky.

Reports of Meyer's signing didn't emerge until after midnight had passed. At 12:11 a.m., just as reports were starting to trickle out, Meyer announced the deal on Twitter.

"Thanks to everyone in Lexington for all the support over the last 3 years," Meyer tweeted. "Had the time of my life. Ready to start the next part of my career with the Washington Nationals!!!!"

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