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Harrington Heads to Colorado In Hopes of Signing Contract

VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

January 16, 2001|MIKE BRESNAHAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Former Palmdale High pitcher Matt Harrington will meet today with Colorado Rockies officials in Denver in a significant step in slow-moving and sometimes acrimonious contract negotiations between the two sides.

Harrington, the only unsigned first-round pick from the amateur baseball draft last June, will visit the Rockies with his parents.

Tommy Tanzer, who has represented Harrington, will not be present, but said he supported the efforts of the Harringtons.

"It's what my client and his family want to do," Tanzer said. "It's the next necessary step for them."

Both sides are anticipating the meeting.

"This is a huge deal," said Bill Hughes, the Rockies' West Coast scouting supervisor. "The Harringtons have chosen to do it eyeball to eyeball, not through a third party. What comes of that hopefully will be positive. They're excited and we're excited. Hopefully, both sides will come together and get the kid playing baseball again."

Harrington has been offered a $4 million signing bonus by the Rockies, which would be the highest amount ever given a high school pitcher signed out of the draft.

Harrington, a right-hander who has been clocked as high as 97 mph, was seeking $4.95 million.

Harrington passed up a scholarship offer from Arizona State and signed with the St. Paul Saints, a minor league team in the independent Northern League.

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