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Bowden on Crow


First comment: We worked extremely hard and were unable to sign Aaron Crow, our first-round pick. We were extremely competitive in trying to sign him. We offered a major league contract. Dollar wise, we offered more than Brian Matusz got, the fourth pick in the draft, who was signed by the Orioles. We were there doing everything we can do sign the player, and obviously we're disappointed. We were very pleased to draft him and really wanted to sign him.

Q: How late did negotiations go?

All the way to the end.

Q: Did you ever get close?

They made... their first proposal to us came on August 12, for $9 million. That offer did not change until 11:40 tonight when they moved dramatically to $4.4 million. We worked extremely hard at this. As you know, last year Ross Detwiler signed for $2.1 million; he was the sixth player taken overall. And Brian Matusz signed for $3.2 million. At the end of the day, we stepped up and went to $3.5 million in an attempt to sign him, and unfortunately we couldn't get it done. We wish him nothing but success and good luck and it's unfortunate. I think the only good thing -- in previous years, you wouldn't have gotten another first-round pick the next year. That being said, from our perspective, we'll have two picks next year in the top 10, and we'll just have to wait 10 more months. Obviously we're very disappointed though.

Q: Did you know of Crow's demands before the draft?

They never gave us a dollar figure. What they told us was the same as what every player we were giving consideration for the first pick. Which was, we want a major league contract and, in his case, they said -- quote unquote -- we want an out-of-the-box deal. We gave the major league contract offer during this process. We gave them an out-of-box deal in this process. Absolutely. And everyone else we were talking to, every other agent, was asking for the exact same thing: a major league contract and, depending on what word you want to use, whether it's out-of-the-box or premium, I can tell you the only time we ever got a figure from them was on August 12. That was the only time we got a figure from them. And that was $9 million. On August 12.

By Chico Harlan  |  August 16, 2008; 1:18 AM ET
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Resign, Bowden.

Kasten- The Plan is a sham, and the Lerners really do turn out to be cheap. You're a snake oil salesman. Don't dare try to tell us that you're building for the future ever again.

Posted by: Positively Half St | August 16, 2008 1:27 AM | Report abuse

Lerners are CHEEEEEEEEP. And the stooges who work for them, Stan and Plan and JimBo, are baseball's version of slum lords. Every time you frequent Reston Town Center or White Flint Mall you support these low-lifes.

Posted by: Build Another Shopping Mall, Uncle Teddy | August 16, 2008 1:29 AM | Report abuse

Losing a top ten over $900k?

This is why Bowden and our team are a collective embarrassment.

Fire Bowden Today!

Posted by: Hoagie | August 16, 2008 1:34 AM | Report abuse


I don't blame the FO for this, and you all know just how critical of Bowden I am.

this lies at the feet of the Hendricks.

9 Mill and a ML contract was way too much for a pitcher with a good chance of having arm problems in the future due to his pitching mechanics, and for them to suddenly drop to a respectable number with 20 minutes to go reeks of "We never intended to sign, and we just want to make ourselves look benevolent and make the team look like the Villains.

all of you can rant at Bowden all you want, but you are wrong. he made the right move in this particular instance.

Crow is the only one out of our entire draft that didn't sign, as far as I know. I could be wrong on that though. no way in hell that not signing Crow makes this a waste of a draft.

Posted by: MrMadison | August 16, 2008 1:36 AM | Report abuse

and for the Lerner Cheap folks:

we gave pretty much every other draft pick we signed over-slot money.

Posted by: MrMadison | August 16, 2008 1:37 AM | Report abuse

Madison, only 30 players signed...that means 20 didn't.

Anyone think Bowden is here to see those 2 Top 10 picks get drafted?

Posted by: Andrew Stebbins | August 16, 2008 1:42 AM | Report abuse

Andrew - hell no he won't be here.

but with that said, I'm not at all upset about him letting Crow walk.

Crow's stock will drop in next year's draft, and he'll make LESS money than what we offered him....if he doesn't blow his elbow out with that delivery first.

if there is anything I'm upset about now, it is that we should have drafted Smoak.

Posted by: MrMadison | August 16, 2008 1:46 AM | Report abuse

Crow, Cr0W, Cro2, C5o3!
Where have you gone? 900K is reconcilible, Can Bowden not negotiate? I hate the Nats!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 16, 2008 1:46 AM | Report abuse

Hey JimBo, if you're going to make any more moves this year, you ought to just pick Sept. 11, because that's what you're doing to our team.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | August 16, 2008 1:46 AM | Report abuse

Sign the petition. JimBo must go. If we can get to 1000 signers, I'll guarantee you I'll get the Post to cover it.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | August 16, 2008 1:47 AM | Report abuse

There are no guarantees that we sign next year's top two either. I can hardly get excited if when we draft a guy we can't sign him - it was a total waste of my time and emotional capital to follow this year's draft. Destin Hood has no arm. Ramirez is 5-10 185 with no arm and is slow. I mean really - this year was a horrible draft. That said, Crowe can go....Fu$k himself. I wouldn't have caved to those insane demands either. He obviously is money centric - who wants that? It would be sweet justice to see him blow out his arm and end up spending the rest of his life washing dishes at Perkins Pancake House.

Posted by: Nats Fan | August 16, 2008 1:49 AM | Report abuse

Crowe and his family has 365 days to think about 3.5mil and ML contract WITH the leverage this year versus, if they're lucky, slot money and Bluefield, WVa next year. His agent is footing his bills until then.

Posted by: pwilly | August 16, 2008 2:05 AM | Report abuse

Say what you will about Bowden - I can't stand him. But he's right in this case. The thought of Crowe injuring his arm and losing everything brings a smile to my face. Prima donna punk kids need to realize that there are no guarantees in life - you can lose everything. Greed will kill you. Have fun riding the stupid bus playing for the Sand Cats or whatever their stupid name is - Crowe - you need to grow up and learn about life a little bit before you go turning down $3.3 million due to nothing more than your ego.

Posted by: | August 16, 2008 2:09 AM | Report abuse

This is extremely disappointing. A team building through the draft can't afford to let a top pick walk away.I don't care if we get 2 picks in the top ten next year. Ten months of having a number one draft choice playing in the organization has been lost.I don't know if this choice was lost by not doing enough homework prior to the draft or during negotiations-- the bottom line is the Nats couldn't afford to show nothing for the 9th pick.

Posted by: DJ | August 16, 2008 2:11 AM | Report abuse

Recognizing that the demands of this Crow idiot (is there an arm injury awaiting?) were unreasonable, we still have to recognize:
1. The job of the GM is to draft the best players AND be able to sign them.
2. The PLAN now has suffered a serious setback -- I'm sure we're all willing to wait ANOTHER YEAR to compete. Sure.
3. The money spent signing Johnny Estrada -- and this not hindsight, because Lo Duca had been signed, we had Flores, and Nieves was just one of the catchers with MLB experience coming to camp -- could have been better spent signing draft picks.
4. If you're the Mets, Yanks, BoSox, Dodgers -- feel free to make a point by turning down outrageous demands from your draftees. But if you're the Nats, about to lose 9 in a row for the THIRD time this season, you BETTER DARN WELL SIGN THE GUYS YOU DRAFT!!!

Posted by: Natsfan24 | August 16, 2008 2:47 AM | Report abuse

20 of the top 21 eligible drafted players signed, only the Nationals failed. So somehow the Nationals were able to pick the only player with an agent who was unreasonable. I’m sorry we will never know exactly how the negotiation went but it is clear that for whatever reason the Nationals could not close the deal. I feel confident in saying that the Nationals would not have been able to sign any of the top picks regardless of the agent. Agents and the players they represent know that the Nationals “PLAN” is to sign draftees and build from within. If this is your only plan this will work against you in negotiations. I would not assume that future top draftees will be easier to sign. Maybe the fans will forgive them and blame the player or their agent but none of this bodes well for players wanting to come to Washington.

Tim Beckham SS Signed
Pedro Alvarez 3B Signed
Eric Hosmer 1B Signed
Brian Matusz LHP Signed
Buster Posey C Signed
Kyle Skipworth C Signed
Yonder Alonso 1B Signed
Gordon Beckham SS Signed
Aaron Crow RHP Unsigned
Jason Castro C Signed
Justin Smoak 1B Signed
Jemile Weeks 2B Signed
Brett Wallace 3B Signed
Aaron Hicks OF Signed
Ethan Martin RHP Signed
Brett Lawrie 3B/C Signed
David Cooper 1B Signed
Ike Davis 1B Signed
Andrew Cashner RHP Signed

Posted by: NoJoyinMudville | August 16, 2008 8:01 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Mr. Madison, and I'm no Bowden fan. SoCH, we already know the URL due to your countless postings of it. Also, you criticize Bowden for the 9/11 comparison but then make it yourself? Not funny.


Hey JimBo, if you're going to make any more moves this year, you ought to just pick Sept. 11, because that's what you're doing to our team.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | August 16, 2008 1:46 AM

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 16, 2008 8:01 AM | Report abuse

What is the difference between Andy McPhail and has a brain the other does not. Please fire your nimrod GM so that I can get more than 15 people to watch the wretched dreck the "plan" idiots are putting on the field. Do people think that the $5MM they spent on Low Donthita or the 10MM they spent on Dimitri Old aren't dollars they could have spent on bridging the gap with this idiot. I would rather spend $$$ (and as the one giving these idiots $20MM a year to put this garbage on the air it is my $$$) on young talent with a chance to make a difference rather than old crap that will never make a difference. The team leadership is a joke. Every snippit I read about the farm system from non-Nationals sources says that the talent is better but still mediocore. Why do the White Sox pick up players like Quentin and we pick up someone like Bona-strikeout4times-io.

Posted by: Peter Angelos | August 16, 2008 8:11 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: speaking of having a brain | August 16, 2008 8:13 AM | Report abuse

I may not be able to spell I wrong?

Posted by: Peter Angelos | August 16, 2008 8:18 AM | Report abuse

SoCH, you crossed a line last night - hate Bowden, rant against him, call everybody who disagrees with you apologists, but when you compare not signing a college kid to a 4 million dollar deal to an attack that resulted in the death of thousands, you've gone WAY WAY too far. It's abhorrent, and disgusting - at one point, I had respect for hearing out your argument - I've now lost far more respect for you than I did for the Nats.

Posted by: Highway 295 Revisited | August 16, 2008 8:44 AM | Report abuse

I'm not a Bowden fan, but he was right. It's better to make a statement that the Nats will not be pushovers. This kid should not have been asking for a better deal than Matusz. Let the greedy kid go back to college and risk blowing out his arm. We don't want that kind of guy in our organization anyway.

Hopefully next year, we'll have #1 overall, plus the #10. And Rizzo as the new GM will make good choices of quality individuals.

I look forward to rooting against Crow!

Posted by: Osc | August 16, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

295--I was being ironic, making fun of Bowden for the comment he made that got him fired from the Reds comparing the players' union to al Qaeda.

I'm sorry you were offended, but again it was just a pretty harmless a bit of Colbert-style irony. Nothing to get too worked up over.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | August 16, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

I'm not 295 but I did realize that you were riffing on Bowden's prior comparison. IMO, two wrongs do not make a right and to riff on the earlier comparison as a humorous device is no more appropriate than the original remarks were.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 16, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Fair enough. If that's how people took it, I apologize.

I was on the Hill on 9/11 and have family who work in lower Manhattan. I'm the last person who would want to be seen disrespecting that.

Lesson learned I guess is that even 7 years out, there's still no way to make a good 9/11 joke, even if it's a joke about someone making a bad joke about 9/11. Point well taken.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | August 16, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Steven.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 16, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

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