OTTAWA- Junior National Team OF Gareth Morgan (Toronto, ON) officially signed a contract with the Seattle Mariners yesterday after the club took him in Competitive Balance Round B (74th overall) last week in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
Although the Mariners do not disclose signing bonus amounts, several sources have Morgan signing for $2 million which would give him the second highest signing bonus for a high school player out of Canada behind only Adam Loewen (Surrey, BC) who signed with the Baltimore Orioles for $3.2 million after they took him 4th overall in 2002.
"It's been crazy. At the start of the Draft, I really didn't know what was going to happen, but I'm glad Seattle picked me," said Morgan in an interview with Mariners.com. "I toured the city Sunday and went on a couple [Ride the Ducks] tours. It's a great place to be and an exciting time."
After signing the contract yesterday, Morgan suited up in a Mariners uniform and took batting practice at Safeco Field in Seattle with the big-league club swatting a pair of home runs to left field. He was also on-hand to watch the Mariners face the New York Yankees in the evening. After attaining a United States work-visa, Morgan will report to the Mariners Arizona Rookie League affiliate in Peoria.
Morgan, a four-year member of Baseball Canada’s Junior National Team, joined the program in the fall of 2010 as a 14 year-old and has been on every trip with the club since, including the 2011 COPABE 18U World Cup Qualifier in Colombia, the 2012 IBAF 18U World Cup in Korea and the 2013 IBAF 18U World Cup in Taiwan.
He was part of two silver medal-winning clubs in 2011 and 2012.
In addition to the international tournaments and annual trips to Florida and the Dominican Republic, Morgan has also attended Junior National Team events in Cuba, Italy and Australia.
"We are very happy for Gareth and his family. He is truly a special talent and we wish him the very best as he embarks on what is surely to be a successful professional career with the Seattle Mariners," said Director of National Teams and Head Coach for Baseball Canada Greg Hamilton.