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During Nationals' batting practice today, team president Stan Kasten requested the chance to speak with a few media members. He wasn't much in the mood for questions, though -- at least not after he got his message across. Transcribed below is your NJ Fully Contextualized Stan Kasten Pre-Deadline Statement, with questions following.

SK: There's nothing new to report on any signing, and I can't tell you if there will be. Jim will be down after it's over to discuss -- no matter what we do tonight, if anything, to discuss it. But, you know, the process is continuing, not just here, but in a lot of places. I will say this: There are probably lots of things you can criticize us for. I don't think the drafting and signing of guys is one of those things. I think, if anything, we have a record -- two years ago, last year -- of doing well in our drafting, doing well in the signing decisions we've made -- both the guys to sign and the guys not to sign. I think our record is really clear of being flexible and creative in the process and willing to stretch when we think it's warranted. Again, we showed that last year, and two years ago when we saw a kid in the Dominican (Smiley Gonzalez) who now looks like he's on his way to a big future. Last year, everyone knows those stories. This year again, I think we've demonstrated amply our willingness to be flexible -- but not much interest into being bullied into something unreasonable. And we'll continue, and as I said, at least on this subject -- drafting and signing guys -- I think our record is as good as anyone's, and we're very proud of that. So, I don't have more to say to you in terms of substance. If you need more from me, I'm sure tomorrow I'll be back. You may have questions for me now; if they're of substance I'm not really going to be able to help you now.

Q: I was going to ask, did Randy Hendricks tell you guys...?

SK: (Before question finishes) I'll let Jim -- because you know, I haven't had any conversations with anybody. That's really a question directed to Jim when this is over, and I doubt Jim would want to say anything until it's over.

Q: How about the guys you have signed? How happy are you with those guys?

SK: That's a GM question. Ask Jim that. That's what he does.

Q: Are their any face-to-face negotiations planned for later today.

SK: No details, OK? Let's wait until after midnight. No details.

Q: Is it accurate to say that negotiations are ongoing?

SK: It's accurate to say the deadline hasn't been reached yet. That's all I can say.

By Chico Harlan  |  August 15, 2008; 6:56 PM ET
 
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Comments

Sounds like Stan is a little peeved with something. Also seems to say that Crow's demands are unreasonable in the view of the club. Could be complete posturing though, also. Got newposted, so here's something I wrote on the last post (sorry, I know that's obnoxious)

Obviously, signing the draft picks is vital. However, in my opinion, the team would be setting a dangerous precedent if they draft guys in the 15, 16th, 17th round and simply because they feel they need to get a deal done, way overpay for them (say, first or second round money). I know the deal with McGeary, and that seems to be an exception rather than a rule because of his circumstances. Just like some folks are saying that for the next 20 years the FO will be saying they can't sign top picks because of the slot (I don't believe this, by the way), if the Nats pay low first/high second money to 15th-20th round draft picks, they will set that standard and perhaps lose their mid round draft picks for the next 20 years.

I just read this article (http://www.nysun.com/sports/baseballs-draft-system-is-badly-broken/83971/) and I have begun to change my stance on the Crow deal. While I do think that Crow and his agent are holding the team hostage, I think the team should sign him. I'm not, however, one to think that the heavens will fall if they don't. I hope a deal gets done, and I think that they could be justified in paying up to $6 Million for him.

As to the #1 pick next year...I think what they need to do is go out and pick up the #1 college bat. I feel like they need to start getting some elite sticks in the farm system. Invest the 9a in a pitcher if it comes down to that, but I think the first pick should be a huge power bat (if that's out there).

Posted by: Cavalier | August 15, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

stan kasten is a pimp..he just showed you his strong hand!

Posted by: it aint easy | August 15, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

"Me think thou doth protest too much...."

Why is Stan so defensive on this one?

Posted by: ohplease | August 15, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

And...when will the Post write the definitive story about the ever widening gap between Jimbo and Stan...These guys are not communicating, if you ask me.

Posted by: ohplease | August 15, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Right when they report that Stan fired him.

Posted by: Cavalier | August 15, 2008 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Cavalier, I agree with everything except the #1 pick next year. The kid who will go #1 is an absolutely monster of a pitcher...Steven Strasburgh - look him up. No wayyyy you pass up someone with that talent. Get a hitter 10th if Crow doesn't sign.

Posted by: Andrew Stebbins | August 15, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Cavalier...we can dream, can't we?

Posted by: ohplease | August 15, 2008 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Andrew--I've heard that he is the real deal. I just wonder with the Nats luck in drafting pitchers, and the relatively barren nature of the power hitting prospects in the minors, if it doesn't make sense to get a power stick. Then again, probably more power hitters than lights out starters in what most are saying is a rather deep draft next year.

Posted by: Cavalier | August 15, 2008 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Ray Knight just metioned $8-9 million as what Crow may be looking for. I don't know where he got the number, and I don't know if he's right or not.

Posted by: Cavalier | August 15, 2008 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Not saying anything regarding the Crow negotiations, but something strikes my very-non-expert mind here:

Several guys in the top 20 have still not signed. There may be some midnight deals, but there may be several of them who end up not getting a deal, Crow among them. In other words, their agents are playing hardball, even when the clubs have the compensatory pick in their back pocket.

So my question is this: what happens next year, when clubs are forced to deal (or lose the pick altogether), in what's regarded as a deep and talented draft? Because of the "extra" carryover picks going to next year, lots of clubs will be under even more pressure to sign their first few rounds. It could be complete mayhem ($10m signing bonus kind of mayhem) Are the 'slots' going to be completely thrown out next year?

Posted by: nat in beantown | August 15, 2008 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Anybody who doesn't draft Strasburg #1 overall next year is a functional retard. Even Bowden couldn't mess that one up.

Posted by: Wily Mo Pena's Mailman | August 15, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

nat in beantown wrote: What happens next year ... are the 'slots' going to be completely thrown out next year?

That's a GM question. Ask Jim that. That's what he does.

Posted by: Suicide Squeeze | August 15, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Cavalier,

Not to repost what Andrew S. said, but Strasburg is an absolute no-brainer at #1 overall. He struck out 23 in a Division I game this year, and threw a 1 hitter in Olympic ball the other day.

Quick scouting blurb:

He is coming off a dominant season in which he captivated the nation with a 23-strikeout performance against Utah on April 11. The sophomore right-hander was dominant on the mound all spring for the Aztecs, going 8-3 with a 1.57 ERA, 133-to-16 K/W ratio and opponents’ batting average of .181 in 13 starts. The local San Diego product, who turned 20 this week, has a devastating four-seam fastball that has hit 100 MPH on the radar gun.

Posted by: Section 138 | August 15, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Knight's running with the popular report that Crow wants 8 to 10, which is nothing more than fodder from unnamed sources around the time of the draft. Even Stevie Wonder can see that isn't happening.

Posted by: Carl Williams | August 15, 2008 8:22 PM | Report abuse

But that statement from his agent yesterday said that they haven't changed their position from the draft. So, assuming 8-10 is right at that point (and why haven't they refuted that?) then it is correct now.

Posted by: SF Fan | August 15, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like Crow is asking for way too much. Personally, at this point, I would prefer him not to sign. I have been a big fan of Strasburg's for a long time, the kid is unbelievable. It would be nice if we could add a top 5 bat to go along with him next year. If Crow signs, I really don't like the idea of taking Strasburg also next year, who is going to be impossible to pass on, due to the fact that we really need another power bat in the organization (1B). Maybe JimBo will ready this, it probably hasn't crossed that brain of his.

Posted by: Jason | August 15, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Okay, okay...draft Strasburg. However, the draft is a season away, and there's no telling what will happen. Should a college hitter have an unbelieveable year, the Nats will at least have to pause and think about the pick. Also, having the first pick next year, is it possible to negotiate before the draft? Might be a good move to have a deal in place before the pick is made.

Posted by: Cavalier | August 15, 2008 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Hendricks gives the latest to the FL-S: http://fredericksburg.com/blogs/view?blogger_id=34

Posted by: The Crow Flies | August 15, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Honestly? I don't think any hitter could have a big enough year to displace Strasburg from the top slot. He's the closest thing to a can't-miss kid in a sport that doesn't have them.

Posted by: Trapper John | August 15, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Hendricks is sending emails to the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star? On signing-deadline evening?

Puh-leeze!

Posted by: shepdave | August 15, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Posted on nfa:

I'm afraid some of the posters take the slot value as some natural law that can not be violated. It is not. It is Bumbling Bud's attempt to pour yet more $ into the owners pockets.
Do we want to win?
Do we need better players to win?
What is the cheapest way to acquire good players?
Erase the slot numers from your minds and pay these young men what you think they are worth.
Of course some won't make it, that is the risk, but what other options do you have.
Example: What is Silverstein worth? Note the question is not what a 32nd round choice is worth. If he is worth $1M then offer it, to a man who may be a number one in a few years, if you fail to act.
That is a Plan.
Anything else is subtrefuge. "Don't ask me to bid on MLB FAs, I have a plan." The plan however does not involve offering players what they are worth, unless I am proved wrong tonight.
FO please prove me wrong .
How else are we going to pass every other franchise in MLB, all of which are ahead of us. This is the one place and the one time where we can cheaply out spend them.
Spend $15M instead of $7M. The "excess" is less than we spent on bad MLB FAs this year.
Let's play two!

Posted by: SlowPitch63 | August 15, 2008 9:27 PM | Report abuse

of course, you're presuming he *IS* worth an $8m signing bonus, SP63.

Posted by: 231 | August 15, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Save the $$$ and spend it on long term contracts for Zim & Willie

Posted by: 419E | August 15, 2008 10:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm in Maine- did Willie get on in the 9th?

Posted by: Positively Half St | August 15, 2008 10:21 PM | Report abuse

No, he struck out.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 15, 2008 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Kasten has no clue

Hopefully, Jimbo's almost thru

Does any in this organization

No what the hell to do?

Posted by: Section 409 | August 16, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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