It looks as though Josh Fields may actually wear a Seattle Mariners uniform after all. According to a report on mlb.com, Fields, the Mariners No. 1 draft pick from last year, and the Mariners have finally agreed on a contract, according an unnamed major league source.
The report said that the deal was done pending Fields passing a physical.
Mariners representatives declined to comment when asked about the signing, following a club policy to wait until everything is finalized to comment.
If the deal is done, it will be the end of a long, unmoving standoff between the two sides.
The Mariners selected Fields with the 20th pick of the 2008 amateur draft, following a standout career at the University of Georgia.
As a senior, Fields helped lead the Bulldogs to the finals of the College World Series, where they ended losing a three-game series along the way. Along the way, he earned Southeastern Conference pitcher of the year honors and first-team All-American as the Bulldogs closer. Fields posted a 3-2 record with 18 saves and a 1.80 ERA in 37 innings pitched.
Fields was deemed close to being major league ready by the Mariners officials that chose to draft him. However, a contract squabble could never quite be solved. Reportedly, the Mariners offered Fields a signing bonus of $1.5 million, while Fields and his agent Scott Boras wanted $2 million. Neither side would budge on their demands, and the talks were dead for a period of months.
However, when Jack Zduriencik took over as general manager, he restarted the negotiations with Boras.
It's uncertain whether Fields will be offered an invitation to major league spring training which starts next week. It's usually a normal courtesy or negotiated into top draft pick's contracts.