So Bryce Harper signed a major league deal with the Washington Nationals worth $9.9 million last night before the midnight deadline.
But what does it mean?
To start with, it means he had to be placed on the 40-man roster, and that happened today with Luis Atilano being transferred to the 60-day disabled list. He wasn't going to return this season after surgery on his elbow to remove bone chips.
The team will have Harper in next week's homestand to meet the media and the major league staff; he'll probably work out as well. Don't expect him to be taking any batting practice while the gates are open, though.
After that, it's off to Viera, FL, home of the Nats minor league complex to work out, and perhaps get in a few Gulf Coast League games before the season ends on August 28th. If the team feels like he's ready, they could then send him out to a minor league assignment for a week or so.
Once the season ends, Harper will go to the Nats Florida Instruction League, where they send their best prospects for intensive workout and training, and perhaps—General manager Mike Rizzo was non-committal about this last night—he could even be assigned to the Arizona Fall League, which is the annual showcase for the top young talent in the major leagues.
Then, since he has the major league contract, he'll be invited to big league spring training to get a taste of that before spending next season in the minor leagues, instead of his senior year of high school.
But that's logistics.
What do yesterday's signings—all four of them—mean to the big picture?