Yukon left-handed pitcher Chad James has agreed to terms with the Florida Marlins, agreeing to the largest signing bonus ever for a high school player coming out of Oklahoma.
The sides agreed just before Monday's deadline for this year's draft picks with college eligibility remaining to sign.
James, the 18th pick overall in June's draft, will sign for $1.7 million. He'll officially sign Monday evening in a signing ceremony in Bricktown.
"I'm fired up," James said. "I've been waiting for the day all my life. I'm going to work hard every day to get to the big leagues as quickly as possible."
James had said he wanted to sign as quickly as possible after the draft, but an edict from the MLB commissioner Bud Selig's office recommended clubs cut bonus slots by 10 percent this year.
Last year's 18th pick, Ike Davis, signed for a reported bonus of $1.575 million.
James' signing bonus is the highest given to a No. 18 overall pick since 1999 and the second-highest ever.
James tentatively agreed to terms with the Marlins on Thursday night, then flew to Miami on Friday morning for a physical. After waiting overnight for results of blood work, James found out Saturday he'd passed.
James was 8-2 with a 1.28 ERA and 100 strikeouts in 63 1/3 innings pitches as a senior.
His fastball stretches into the 90s with a strong changeup as well.
James' stock started skyrocketing last summer, shortly after he started working with trainer John Carey. Carey, who also worked with Stillwater native and current St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday, helped James make significant strides in his velocity and endurance.
James has continued to work out during the summer after negotiations with the Marlins came to a halt.
Initially an Oklahoma State signee, James had explored the possibility of going to a junior college in case he was unable to reach an agreement with the Marlins before the deadline. Going to a junior college would've left James the option of entering next year's draft.
The Marlins have deep connections in the state of Oklahoma.
Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria formerly owned the Oklahoma City 89ers, scouting director Stan Meek lives in Norman and served as OU's pitching coach for 14 years, vice president of player development Jim Fleming lives in Purcell and the team's No. 1 starter, Josh Johnson, is from Jenks.
"One of the main reasons I decided to sign was the Marlins' great track record of developing pitchers," James said. "I'm looking forward to learning from some of the best coaches in the game."