Blair inks deal with Arizona
HUNTINGTON -- Former Marshall pitcher Aaron Blair is officially a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks organization after signing his contract with the team on Saturday afternoon.
Blair's deal is worth $1.435 million and includes the Diamondbacks paying for two years of school so he can finish his education, according to his agent David Matranga of PSI Sports, which is based in California.
"The Diamondbacks were on him from the beginning, and if he had a choice of where to play, this would be one of the top choices, so it's a great situation for him," Matranga said. "We're excited to represent him and that he's with the Diamondbacks now."
Blair finalized the deal prior to Arizona's contest with the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday evening before taking in the game with Matranga and his entire family by his side.
Upon flying into Phoenix, the Blairs got to go on a tour of the entire facility while meeting with several key members of the Arizona organization.
"Everything has been first-class since we got to Phoenix," Matranga said. "It's been a great experience for them."
Following Saturday's celebration at Chase Field, Blair will immediately get to work.
On Sunday morning, he leaves to become a member of the Hillsboro Hops, based in Hillsboro, Ore. The Hops are the new Class A short-season affiliate for the Diamondbacks and play in the Northwest League.
Blair said he's ready for his second-ever trip to the state of Oregon.
"I went when I was in the eighth grade for three days," Blair said. "The quicker I get out there, the better. I'm just excited to go and get started."
Matranga said the Diamondbacks are excited for his future and the plan is for Blair to pitch at Hillsboro before moving to the South Bend Silver Hawks, the Diamondbacks' Class A affiliate in the Midwest League.
"They hope to move him pretty quickly," Matranga said. "He'll start out here and hopefully move to Indiana by the end of the year."
Blair was selected with the 36th overall selection in the Competitive Balance Round A of the 2013 MLB Draft after being a standout for Marshall in the past two years.
The 6-5, 220-pound native of Las Vegas finished 2013 at 5-5 overall with a 2.85 earned run average for the Herd. In 82 innings, he allowed 59 hits and 26 earned runs while walking 36 and striking out 84.
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