There's no evidence of movement in talks involving Nationals first-round pick Erick Fedde in recent days, and with the sides having begun pretty far apart, there's some chance Washington won't sign its top pick.
This looks like one that will go right down to the deadline Friday, at the very least, and even that's something of a surprise considering the positive history between Nationals GM Mike Rizzo and Scott Boras, who's advising Fedde, a UNLV right-hander with a big fastball. They previously made deals for No. 1 overall picks Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper with the Nats, and also made several deals when Rizzo was the scouting director of the Diamondbacks.
In this case, there's been a difference of opinion to date. Fedde is believed to be seeking something at least in the $3 million range, above the $2.15 million slot value attached to pick No. 18. The reasoning is based in part on the idea that Fedde was expected to be a top-10 pick, or maybe even top 5, before having to undergo Tommy John surgery just days before the draft.
One other issue is that other teams with more pool money, perhaps including the Astros and Marlins, are believed to have had interest in paying Fedde his rate had he slipped to them for their second picks.
Fedde's side is believed to have cited the deal for Lucas Giolito, who got $2.925 million from the same Nats as pick No. 16 in 2012 when he had Tommy John surgery on the docket; the Nats likely pointed out their belief that Giolito had an even higher ceiling.
Left-hander Sean Manaea, with hip labrum surgery in the offing, got $3.55 million as pick No. 34 last year from the Royals, a record amount for a supplemental first-rounder. And Jeff Hoffman, the East Carolina flamethrower who like Fedde had Tommy John surgery, signed for the $3.08 million slot as pick No. 9 by the Jays this year.
The Nationals are said to have started out much lower than that.
If Fedde doesn't sign he can return to the draft next year with his rehab complete.