Royals sign No. 5 overall pick Zimmer to contract

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The Kansas City Royals have signed right-hander Kyle Zimmer, their first-round choice out of San Francisco, to a contract that includes a $3 million signing bonus.

The Royals announced the deal Thursday, less than three days after they made Zimmer the No. 5 overall pick in Major League Baseball's first-year player draft.

The early signing is a departure from previous years, when high draft picks often waited until just before an August deadline. The new collective bargaining agreement has moved up the deadline to July 13 and created a slotting system to help speed along negotiations.

The No. 5 player was due $3.5 million in the slotting structure, which means the Royals saved $500,000 on Zimmer to help sign the remaining nine players chosen in the first 10 rounds.