BALTIMORE, JULY 2 -- The last thing either Mike Mussina or the Baltimore Orioles wanted was a reenactment of Ben McDonald's lost summer of 1989. So, the Orioles managed to reduce the duration of contract negotiations with their top draft choice from 10 agonizing weeks a year ago to a single, mostly cordial day this time around.

The team announced today at a news conference it had signed Mussina, a right-handed pitcher from Stanford selected with the 20th pick in the first round of last month's amateur draft. Terms of the agreement were not released, but sources said Mussina received a signing bonus of just over $200,000 and a standard minor league contract for the remainder of this season.

He was assigned to the Class AA Hagerstown Suns -- a starting destination secured by Mussina during the bargaining process -- and could pitch as soon as this weekend.

"I got what I thought I was worth," said Mussina, 21, who was 14-4 with a 3.35 earned run average this spring in helping the Cardinal into the College World Series. "I wasn't looking for Ben money. . . . When it got to the point where I thought it was fair, that's when I signed."

In addition, the club will pay part of the cost of Mussina's completing his undergraduate education at Stanford. He just finished his junior year and is only 13 credits short of a degree in economics.

"It'll be nice just to have baseball to worry about," he said. "I don't have to go home and say, 'I've got a test tomorrow, I've got a paper to write.' Now it's just baseball. I assume that won't be as taxing to my brain . . . I can't wait to get going."

Negotiations began in earnest Saturday around noon at Mussina's home in Montoursville, Pa., and were completed by 10:30 that night. Scouting Director John Barr and West Coast scout Ed Sprague represented the Orioles. Mussina had at his side his father, Malcolm Mussina, an attorney, and advisor Arn Tellem, an agent recommended to the family by Montoursville native (and former Orioles infielder) Tom O'Malley of the New York Mets.

This was the second time the Orioles drafted Mussina. Baltimore also selected him three years ago in the 11th round out of Montoursville High School, where he had a 24-2 career record with a 0.87 ERA.

But he had plans to go to Stanford, and Malcolm Mussina had stipulated in a letter to each major league club that his son would sign only if offered a $350,000 bonus. Even the intervention of Edward Bennett Williams, the Orioles' late owner, couldn't dissuade the Mussinas.

"That was an unheard-of amount of money in those days," Malcolm Mussina said today. "But we had a $20,000-a-year scholarship from Stanford on the table, plus an understanding of the importance of a college education given the uncertainty of a professional career.

"Looking back," Malcolm Mussina said today, "the script we wrote three years ago was played out perfectly today. . . . Mike is on the East Coast, which he wanted. He's with an organization he likes, and one whose minor league system -- Rochester, Hagerstown and {Class A} Frederick -- is all very accessible to our home by car."

The Orioles are getting a 6-foot-2, 190-pound starter with a fastball capable of the low 90-mph range and control that yielded only 35 walks (versus 107 strikeouts) in 145 innings last season for Stanford.

He also throws a knuckle-curve he taught himself in high school that dips erratically at nearly 80 mph -- "a pretty mean pitch sometimes; I knew I had something when it went right between the catcher's legs to the backstop the first time I ever threw it" -- plus a change-up and a slider he picked up last season.

The Orioles have signed eight of their top 11 draft picks, and 27 of 45 overall.