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Dallas opts to turn pro, signs deal with Padres

Dan Dallas did a lot of winning during his Canisius High School career, but the next time he earns a pitching decision, it will be as a paid professional.

The Buffalo News Prep Talk Awards Baseball Player of the Year has decided to delay going to college and signed his first pro contract Saturday with the San Diego Padres, who selected him June 10 in the seventh round of the MLB Draft.

Dallas reports for Rookie Ball with Peoria, Ariz., on Sunday. It is unknown whether the 6-foot-2 lefty who throws a fastball in the low to mid 90s to go with a curveball and change-up will start or relieve.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, however it is known San Diego is allowed to pay the 204th pick of the draft a six-figure signing bonus of at least $219,000. Depending on money available in the signing pool, a team can offer a draft pick more than the allotted total.

Dallas, who earlier this spring signed a Division I scholarship to attend/play for Monmouth University, didn't reveal the amount of his signing bonus but did say his representation negotiated a clause that requires the Padres to pay for his college education once his playing career is over.

"They cover me for the future," Dallas said via phone from Arizona. "They took priority in signing their first 10 guys (selected in the draft). They gave me everything I asked for.

“It’s nice. It’s finally here. I can’t be more excited. I’m very thankful and humble for the opportunity.”

By turning pro, Dallas forfeits the opportunity to play college baseball.

Although Dallas verbally committed to Monmouth after strong showings at baseball camps early his scholastic career, a strong offseason that resulted in Dallas adding nearly 10 mph on a fastball that had been in the mid 80s caught the eyes of major league scouts. They regularly attended his starts once Canisius returned north following its usual season-opening trip to Florida. He went 10-0 with a 0.15 ERA and 90 strikeouts in 48 innings.

Once the scholastic season ended, he boarded a plane to pitch before San Diego brass during a camp in Atlanta. He also had pre-draft workouts with Kansas City and Baltimore.

Once the Padres picked Dallas during the second day of the draft in a rather high position (The value of selections in rounds 1 through 10 to MLB teams is similar to college players drafted in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft), the Springville native was placed in a win-win situation. He signs, he has negotiating leverage. If he doesn’t sign, he plays college ball on scholarship and re-enters the draft in three years – a path his cousin Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks took after opting to attend Texas State after being drafted out of high school by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Padres didn’t let Dallas slip away, as they flew Dallas to San Diego for a physical and contract talks Thursday. He attended the team’s games and toured Petco Park the past two days before signing on the dotted line.

“Negotiations is a long process,” Dallas said. “It seems that they put me in a good spot for the future. It was an easy decision but I did want to go to Monmouth because it was such a highly respected program.”

Dallas is the second straight local product drafted to choose pro ball over college. Nick Hamilton signed with Boston last year after being selected out of Lockport.

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