It took 96 days, but for Brad Fullmer, it was worth it.
Fullmer has signed with the Montreal Expos for a bonus package worth $520,000, including $100,000 for college, ending negotiations that began when the Montclair Prep infielder was drafted in the second round June 3.
Fullmer signed at about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, following a negotiating session at which Expos' scout Scott Stanley presented what he said was Montreal's final offer.
The Expos were eager to sign Fullmer so that he could report to instructional league in West Palm Beach, Fla., by Monday.
By signing, Fullmer forgoes a baseball scholarship to Stanford. Fullmer said he plans to enroll at UCLA for the winter quarter. Sources have indicated Fullmer would not be admitted to Stanford as a non-athlete.
"It was a tough decision the whole time," Fullmer said. "I can't say enough good things about Stanford. It's an outstanding university and a great program."
A Stanford baseball scholarship is typically difficult for professional scouts to bargain against. Last year, for example, 11 Cardinal recruits were drafted and only one signed. Second-round pick A.J. Hinch, a catcher from Midwest City, Okla., turned down the Chicago White Sox to play at Stanford.
Jeffrey Hammonds, considered by many the top talent in the 1992 draft, slipped to the fourth selection because of fears he could not be bought out of playing his senior year at Stanford. The Baltimore Orioles signed Hammonds for $975,000.
The Expos managed to pry Fullmer from Stanford with a cash bonus higher than any paid to a second-round pick in the past two drafts. Montreal signed Fullmer for nearly the $425,000 base contract it paid its first-round pick, outfielder Chris Schwab of Eagan, Minn.
Fullmer's package is also more than twice the amount of those agreed to by the area's other second-round picks. Nate Dishington of Hoover signed with St. Louis Cardinals for $200,000. Jeff Suppan of Crespi signed with the Boston Red Sox for $190,000 and David Lamb of Newbury Park signed with the Orioles for $200,000. Dishington and Suppan were each drafted before Fullmer.
A left-handed batter, Fullmer hit .568 with 15 home runs and 62 runs batted in for the Mounties. He also played for the West team in the Olympic Festival this summer in San Antonio, Tex.