Jason Bulger's long summer of negotiations with the Arizona Diamondbacks has come to an end.
The former Valdosta State pitcher, the first-round draft choice of the Arizona Diamondbacks last June, signed with the club last week.
Baseball America reported Bulger received a signing bonus and incentives worth around $950,000. It was less than the players drafted around him received, but Bulger had little leverage with the Diamondbacks since he'd already completed his college eligibility.
Bulger was 7-2 with seven saves and a 1.47 ERA for VSU last spring. He struck out 64 in 49 innings. He was the Gulf South East Division co-player of the year.
The newspaper reported Bulger would work out with the club's Arizona Fall League team later this month, but not play professionally until he was sent to Australia.
Bulger could be the next to join others with Valdosta connections in the majors.
Hahira's J.D. Drew has played in just 90 of St. Louis' 143 games this season due to various injuries. Still Drew is hitting .327 with 24 home runs and 62 RBI.
J.D.'s brother Tim Drew was 8-6 with a 3.92 ERA for Class AAA Buffalo (Cleveland) this season. He struck out 75 and walked 27 in 108 innings in two different tours with Buffalo.
After Buffalo lost in the first round of the International League playoffs, Drew was promoted again to Cleveland.
In seven games in Cleveland, Drew is 0-1 with an 8.22 ERA in 30 2/3 innings.
Former Valdosta State pitcher Scott MacRae became the second Blazer to make the majors. His debut was in mid-July against Atlanta. MacRae is 0-0 with a 2.81 ERA in 19 games (25 2/3 innings) with Cincinnati.
MacRae was a Southern League all-star pick. At Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Louisville, he was a combined 7-4 with two saves and a 3.01 ERA.
-- Former VSU pitcher/infielder Scotty Layfield was the relief pitcher of the year in the Carolina League. Pitching for Class A Potomac (St. Louis), Layfield was 1-2 with a league-high 31 saves and a 1.84 ERA in 47 games. Layfield struck out 66 and walked but 18 in 53 2/3 innings. He gave up just one home run, and that was early in the season.
Layfield returned from an elbow problem in July to finish the season.
-- Former VSU pitcher Doug Dimma pitched for both Class AA Tennessee and Class A Dunedin (Toronto). After starting 0-2 with one save in 19 games (5.40 ERA) at Tennessee, he was sent to Dunedin in late May. There he was 1-2 in 24 games (4.88 ERA).
-- Former VSU and Valdosta High pitcher Andy Boutwell went 4-4 (4.92 ERA) with two saves in 32 games for Class A Dayton (Cincinnati). Boutwell struck out 83 in 67 2/3 innings.
-- Former Lowndes High pitcher Aaron Taylor was 3-1 with nine saves (2.45 ERA) for Class A Wisconsin (Seattle). Taylor had 50 strikeouts and just 11 walks in 29 1/3 innings.
-- Former Valdosta High player Buck Coats hit .260 with one home run and 18 RBI for the Cubs' team in the Arizona League.
-- Former Valdosta State player Darren Bush hit .175 with two home runs and 18 RBI for Class A Clearwater (Philadelphia).
-- Valdosta resident Jeff Garber came one day from having another championship series called off before its conclusion.
Garber's Wilmington (Del.) team in the Class A Carolina League lost the fifth game of the championship series to Salem (Va.) on Sept. 10. If the series would have lasted one more day, it would have been cancelled due to the terrorist attacks which happened the next day.
Two years ago, Garber had the last game of a championship series cancelled because of an impending hurricane in the Myrtle Beach (S.C.) area.
Garber, in his fifth year of managing in the Kansas City organization, won both halves of the Carolina League's Northern Division this season.
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