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Yukon left-handed pitcher Chad James agrees to terms with Florida Marlins

RYAN ABER Modified: August 15, 2009 at 10:04 pm •  Published: August 15, 2009

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.


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