BATON ROUGE, La. — Ben McDonald, the first player taken in the free agent baseball draft, said he's holding firm on his demand for a signing bonus of about $250,000 and a three-year guaranteed contract at the major league minimum of $68,000 a year.
He said he wants the guarantee, whether he pitches in the majors this year or later. Normally, players are paid at the salary level of the class in which they are playing.
McDonald met Sunday at his home in Denham Springs with Baltimore Orioles General Manager Roland Hemond. McDonald said they aren't even close to an agreement.
"The big thing is the three-year contract. That's what we're working on right now," said McDonald, who still has a year of eligibility left at Louisiana State University. "I've got to have three years."
He said he wasn't discouraged by the failure to get a contract signed quickly. "As the days go by, we'll get closer and closer," he said. "It's still going to be two or three weeks before anything happens."