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Boras Says Strasburg Wasn't Close to Walking

So after the weeks and months of "coming up after the break" drama and media posturing and fan freak-outs, it comes down to this: Scott Boras, on WFAN this morning, telling Adam The Bull and Jon Heyman that this deal was never close to unraveling. Lame, lame and lame.

Here's the quote, concerning the possibility of Strasburg walking away:

"If the Nationals had not taken the position that they took I think that would have certainly been an option," Boras said. "But keep in mind that the Nationals ownership and the process with Strasburg was not one where that was strongly considered only because how they negotiated the contract, their effort to sign Stephen, the need, all that was very clear. And getting a deal done was something that was really in both people's minds. And so it was not a process that really ever came close to Stephen exercising that option."

Lame. Duped. Conned. Give me my time back.

The interview was epically long, but here were three more choice bites. In the first, Boras was asked about Strasburg's value on the open market.

"A player like Stephen, if he were born in Cuba and he exhibited the type of skills that he showed on an international level, that he showed in college, I would estimate teams would pay anywhere from $70 to $100 million to sign him," Boras said.

Boras was also asked whether there was any disappointment over the deal they got.

"The most difficult part about negotiating those in each forum is the fact that there is really no barometer to decided where the platform rests," he said. "And in this case we went in and we offered Washington a number of scenarios. We did suggest a contract that was in the $20 million range, but for more years. And they certainly wanted to limit the amount of guarantee and therefore we limited the amount of years the contract would cover. We negotiated a contract where we believe it really facilitated our needs, because the player we think would regardless of what happens to him, have an excellent chance to make $19 million over the '10 through '14 seasons, '10, '11, '12, '13 and '14.

"And so when you put that kind of security into an amateur player, that's your hope, and you also hope the talent he has--he's the best college pitcher I've ever seen. He has separated from the previous college pitchers. The disappointment for me is that American-born ballplayers are not treated the same, even though they wear the same uniform and the play in the same grass. That American born ballplayers are not being treated the same as the foreign players, and that's something that we have to adjust in baseball.

"Because the other sports, the NFL primarily, they have the wherewithal, because their draft structure allows them to seek the best athletes. And they promote that, and they tell athletes at the age of 16, 'Why go play baseball, go to college, take a football scholarship, come out and take $50 million to sign in their draft.' And I think if baseball wants to continue to compete for the greatest athletes, they have to do so not just on a foreign basis, but they have to do it primarily on a basis in our own country."

Lastly, Boras was asked about whether we might see Strasburg in the bigs for the start of next year.

"Certainly his abilities would allow him that option," Boras said. "We've had a number of discussions with Mike Rizzo and the Nationals about the pace of Stephen's development. When you have a young pitcher who is 21 years of age, with the ability to throw in the big leagues, you have to be very cautious for those couple years to make sure really before he's 24 that his body develops, that his core and leg strength develop, that you're not taxing his shoulder and elbow too much by throwing too many innings before they're 24. So certainly the option of pitching in the major leagues next year is open to the Nationals, but I think everyone realizes that the number of innings that he puts in in 2010 would not be something that you'd see like a veteran pitcher."

(If you're wondering why Boras uses the $19 million figure, here's his explanation: "If Stephen really plays beyond and the club continues just to offer him a contract which I think they would do after 2013, Stephen would be guaranteed a minimum of $19 million over that 2010 to 2014 seasons. So by major league rule the first three rules is worth $15 million guaranteed, but more than likely and by all probability just by tendering him a contract he'll have the opportunity to earn $19 million.")


By Dan Steinberg  |  August 18, 2009; 4:37 PM ET
Categories:  Nats  
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Next: Orakpo's Rookie Hazing


Barno hates to say he told you so (actually he loves to), but I told you so...

Posted by: Barno1 | August 19, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

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