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Alonso ace to start pro career

Negotiations between former Alonso ace Jose Fernandez and the Marlins went well into the 11th hour late Monday night, but the sides came to terms just before Monday night's midnight deadline.

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In the days leading up to the signing deadline, Fernandez, the 14th overall pick in June's MLB first-year player draft, and the Marlins appeared worlds apart on a signing bonus figure. Fernandez had reportedly been asking for a $4 million, and the Marlins were offering the slotted $1.6 million.

Monday night, the sides agreed to a compromise and Fernandez agreed to a $2 million bonus, according to his adviser Rich Arena.

Arena sent a text message to the Times at 11:07 p.m. Monday, saying a deal had been done. He later confirmed the bonus.

Fernandez, a Cuban defector who guided Alonso to two Class 6A state titles in his three seasons there, was 13-1 this spring with a 1.35 ERA and 134 strikeouts in 93 innings.

The Marlins made the hard thrower Hillsborough County's highest baseball draft pick since 1997, when the Mets selected Jesuit pitcher Geoff Goetz sixth overall.

Ex-Ray now an ex-Twin

DETROIT — The Tigers became the latest team hoping that Delmon Young can live up to expectations. Once one of baseball's top prospects with the Rays, the former No. 1 draft pick who turns 26 on Sept. 14 was acquired from the Twins for a minor-league pitcher and a player to be named.

On hearing the news, "I thought it was a prank call,'' said Young, taken by Tampa Bay first overall in 2003. He has largely been a disappointment in the majors. Bothered by injuries this season, he is hitting .266 with a .305 on-base percentage and a .357 slugging percentage in 84 games. Last year he had a seeming breakout performance of .298/.333/.493.

The Rays shipped Young to the Twins after his rookie season in 2007 for a package that included RHP Matt Garza and SS Jason Bartlett. Both played key roles in Tampa Bay's World Series run in 2008.

INSPIRING VISIT: Rookie RHP Juan Nicasio, wearing an immobilizing cervical brace and a ready smile, returned to the Rockies clubhouse, his first visit since he was struck in the head by a line drive and had a bone in his neck broken. Doctors are optimistic he'll make a full recovery.

ASTROS SALE: Major League Baseball postponed a vote to approve the proposed sale of the Astros from Drayton McLane to Jim Crane. The $680 million agreement was reached May 16, and commissioner Bud Selig said at the All-Star Game last month that the sale was on track for approval. In other Astros news, the team received Class A Lakewood OF Domingo Santana, 19, from the Phillies to complete the trade for OF Hunter Pence.

FAN HONORED: The Rangers fan killed last month when he fell from the stands at Rangers Ballpark while reaching for a ball will be honored with a bronze statue. The team announced that the statue will depict Brownwood firefighter Shannon Stone and 6-year-old son Cooper at a game.

BRAVES: 3B Chipper Jones did not start against the Giants a day after hurting his left knee while running to first as a pinch-hitter.

CUBS: LHP Scott Maine was recalled from Triple-A Iowa to fill a roster spot after RHP Carlos Zambrano was placed on the disqualified list.

GIANTS: 3B Pablo Sandoval left the game against the Braves in the first inning after fouling a ball off his right foot.

PHILLIES: RHP Dave Bush signed a minor-league contract and was assigned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

WHITE SOX: RHP Brian Bruney was released after he cleared waivers and rejected an outright assignment to Triple-A Charlotte.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Alonso ace to start pro career 08/15/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 1:13am]
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