Roger Salkeld finally signed on the dotted line Thursday, pocketing a bonus of $225,000 as the Seattle Mariners made the Saugus High right-hander the highest-paid draft pick in the club's 13-year history.
Salkeld (6-foot-5, 210 pounds), the third player selected in last month's amateur draft, will be assigned to Bellingham (Wash.), the club's rookie-league affiliate, Saturday in Spokane.
After signing the contract, Salkeld, who watched the Mariners' game against Minnesota in the Kingdome on Wednesday night, immediately began throwing in the Mariners' bullpen.
"I was out there all day, taking batting practice, shagging balls," Salkeld said from Seattle. "It was exciting and fun. It was a learning experience."
Seattle officials expressed satisfaction at having Salkeld in the fold.
"We're very pleased to sign him and to have him in the organization at such a young age," said Dave Aust, the team's director of public relations. "He should move through the organization quickly and make the major leagues. He was in the clubhouse last night and he was pretty wide-eyed."
The signing bonus is the largest awarded a Seattle draft pick, exceeding the $160,000 bonus received by Ken Griffey Jr. in 1987.
Aside from the bonus, Salkeld will receive incentive bonuses worth $7,500 based on his progress through the organization.
Salkeld, this season's Southern Section 3-A Division Player of the Year, was 13-1 with an 0.57 earned-run average and 178 strikeouts in 108 2/3 innings. He led the Centurions to the division title game at Dodger Stadium.
His career totals include a 30-7 record and 404 strikeouts in 266 1/3 innings.