CLEMSON – As the clock neared midnight Monday, Kyle Parker struck a deal.
After being far apart on contract terms as of late afternoon on Major League Baseball’s signing deadline – perhaps by more than $1 million – Colorado and Parker agreed to a contract that includes a $1.4 million signing bonus, according to Baseball America.
Parker’s father Carl confirmed the deal and said in a text message the agreement will allow Parker to continue playing football at Clemson beyond 2010.
If Parker continued playing football beyond 2010 he would have to forfeit a portion of signing dollars, according to Carl Parker. If Parker quits football after 2010 payment of his signing bonus will be accelerated according to the Denver Post.
The numbers suggest Parker gave up $800,000 to play football this fall for Clemson.
Parker turned down a $2.25 million offer from Colorado on July 20th that would have bought him out of football. The signing bonus figure was near the suggested slot for the 26th overall pick.
“It’s stressful,” said Parker before departing campus for his parents’ home in Augusta, Ga. Monday. “No one wins if (a deal is not completed). They don’t get a player and I don’t get a contract.”
The number fell short of the Parker Camp’s signing demand to buyout football, estimated to be near or above $3 million by sources close to the Rockies.
But Parker also salvaged his first-round draft slot, and perhaps keeps his flexibility open regarding college football and a potential future in the NFL.
If Parker went unsigned he might not be taken as high in the MLB draft next season, which is considered deeper, and he would lose leverage by running out of college baseball eligibility.
Monday marked the final day of a unique and drama-filled contract negotiation for the Rockies, Parkers and Clemson fan base.
Carl Parker said teams knew the camp had a “clear number” prior to June draft when Parker was selected 26th overall by Colorado. Carl Parker said the Red Sox were ready to select, and buy Parker out from football with the 36th overall pick.
In part to keep Clemson coach Dabo Swinney out of a jam, the Parkers set a July 20th deadline to buy Parker completely out of football –including the 2010 season.
Most expected the Clemson two-sport star to sign and give up football.
But Parker surprised by declining a $2.25 million deal to buyout football, and took the 2010 football season off the negotiating table.
Since July 20th talks had stalled, as they typically do with MLB teams and draft picks. Half of the first-round selections entering Monday unsigned.
However, deadlines offer plenty of movement, and only two-first round picks went unsigned a year ago.
And at Schaus, Hinson return, Harman departs John Hinson and Jeff Schaus, middle-of-the-order Clemson bats who were drafted, announced Monday that they would return to school.
Schaus (27th round, Indians) told the Post and Courier he was returning to school and was reached while he moved into a new apartment near campus.
Hinson (13th, round Phillies) told the Asheville Citizen Times that he was also returning.
Clemson did lose ace Casey Harman (29th round, Cubs) who came to terms well above slot, according to 24-7 Sports.
Reach Travis Sawchik at firstname.lastname@example.org, check out the Clemson blog at postandcourier.com/blogs/tiger_tracks and follow him on Twitter (@travis_ sawchik).
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