Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: AdamKilgoreWP and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

Strasburg And Boras Hold Court

This morning's Stephen Strasburg conference call, brought to you by the Scott Boras Corp., lasted 45 minutes. Strasburg took a few-dozen questions, mostly giving by-the-book answers. At one point, when a journalist asked Strasburg about the possibility of an indy ball or Japanese League stint if negotiations with the Nats go awry, a new voice emerged on the conference call.

"Hey [Journalist's Name], This is Scott Boras. This is kind of a press conference that has to do with Stephen... When Stephen is finished, you can direct those questions to me."

Consider it done. After Strasburg was finished, Boras held court for roughly 25 minutes. And boy, was he ready. He was armed with statistics that disproved the risk of signing amateur pitchers. (All but one or two of the pitchers who've ever received bonuses topping $5 million are still in the big leagues.) He made several references to the international market, and disparaged the draft system as something that was "unilaterally imposed, not collectively bargained." Eventually, Boras was asked to speculate about an armageddon scenario that would blow up the draft system as we know it.

Q: (paraphrased) If Stephen didn't sign with the Nationals, is there any way at the end to have Stephen sign as a free agent with any other major league club?

"I'm not going to comment on that currently," Boras said.

Now, a few key points from the call, in no particular order.

* Strasburg has no major plans for the rest of the summer, other than a vacation (at a yet-undetermined location) and plenty of physical training (at a location he refused to disclose). Strasburg, who pitched 109 innings this college season, plans to give his arm a little rest. But he'll keep the workload high, otherwise. "Obviously I'm going to get back in, start working out," he said. "I think I'm going to take a week off, then I'll get after it again and try to take my game to the next level."

* Until yesterday, Strasburg said, he had never had a conversation with anybody in the Nats' front office.

* On whether he plans to pitch for the Nats in the big leagues this year: "You know what, we'll just have to wait and see. I just got picked yesterday. I haven't even thought about that yet."

* He seemed well-prepared for both the scrutiny (possibly negative) that will come from the summer-long negotiations, talking about how he's already used to being a "target" -- though in prior cases, this was because of his pitching talent. Asked about potential hostility from future teammates because of his bonus, Strasburg said, "I'm sure there will be a lot of hostility, but I'm sure there's gonna be a lot of hostility for other first-round draft picks who sign big contracts. You never know. It's just something you're going to have to deal with."

* On the hype: "You know, bottom line is, all year I've never been worrying about the hype. I've just been trying to go out there and help my team win a ballgame, and that's what I'm going to do at the next level."

* On what he needs to do to be successful in the big leagues: "You know what, it's tough to say. I think the big thing now is just getting up there and getting that experience. At every single level I've been able to rise to the occasion. I love being in big situations. I love being in front of a lot of people, and it just takes my game to the next level."

* By the way, up until the draft, he hadn't been following the Nats. He was focused on pitching for the Aztecs.

* Boras had plenty of nice words for those he'll be dealing with during negotiations. Regarding the Lerner family, Boras said, "Well I think the story of the Lerner family is an American success story. They're hard-working people, very informed and very direct about their decisions. I certainly understand that their family that has a rather remarkable history to it, with their success, what they've achieved. ... But, certainly the Lerners are people that we have a very positive first impression of and a good working relationship with."

* Boras, on the track record for contract negotiations like this: "Ninety-nine percent of the time you'll reach an agreement with the major league affiliate and sign the athlete. If that does not happen, you'd look to all available resources... which would include another draft or alternative players for the player to perform."

By Chico Harlan  |  June 10, 2009; 12:12 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Strasburg Watch: Now What? (Plus, Some Links)
Next: Nats, First-Round Pick Storen, Agree To Terms

Comments

newposted:

"Next player on the board" - that implies the existence of some definitive ranked list of players in numerical order in which they should be picked under the "best player available" philosophy. There is no such list.

Posted by: nunof1 | June 10, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

so then you are saying that all this "Honor The Board" and "we are going to take the Best Player Available on our Board" propoganda of the past week or so was just meaningless fluffery from our Front Office, because the so-called "board" they were referring to is non-existant?

cool, ok.

just out of curiosity...are you a member of the Nats Scouting staff? can you confirm that the draft board is fictitious, and that when Rizzo was going on and on about how much effort it took to assemble this fictitious board and how the mantra of the Scouting staff was "Honor The Board" and that signability/money was never going to be an factor and that they were going to pick the top player on the board every time no matter what...he was just flat-out lying?

Posted by: MrMadison | June 10, 2009 12:16 PM

Posted by: MrMadison | June 10, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

* By the way, up until the draft, he hadn't been following the Nats. He was focused on pitching for the Aztecs.


------

I don't believe that for a minute.

Posted by: baltova1 | June 10, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

just a thought, branching off the NFA article I linked to in the last post.

it seems like we are intent on doing 2 things with this draft:

1. Loading up on Pitchers, specifically college arms.

2. Loading up on high-character people. offsetting the "Last Chance for any Headcase/Toolsy Outfielder" policy of the previous regime.

I'll come right out and admit, that as much as the Holder pick puzzles me....I LOVE this approach. absolutely love it. I hope this policy begins to extend from the Draft to the whole of our Organization.

Draft/Develop Pitching, Buy/Trade for Bats.

sounds like a recipe for success to me. not instant success of course, but we are gonna be LOADED with pitching to do with what we please.

I'm suddenly very happy about this draft, and with Rizzo.

Posted by: MrMadison | June 10, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Storen signed, says the Rocket. Sure, that pick had nothing to do with signability.

http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090610&content_id=5247952&vkey=news_was&fext=.jsp&c_id=was

Still, though, since it was clearly a signability pick, glad to see it gets done fast. Let's get him throwing and get him closing games.

Zech Zinicola, Adam Carr, Joel Hanrahan - you boys better watch out.

Posted by: Highway295Revisited | June 10, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

we picked up another pitcher, Miguel Pena, and a HS SS, Micheal Taylor

Posted by: MrMadison | June 10, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

It seems when Kasten built the Braves a million years ago he focused on character and the mental makeup of the kids he drafted. And it started with pitching. I don't follow the college game closely but I put ZERO stock in pre-draft ratings... seriously, how often do top round picks actually turn into everyday players, much less stars of the game?

If these young pitchers turn out to be tireless workers with bulldog mentalities on the hill, I say Go Rizzo!

Posted by: outsider6 | June 10, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

"If that does not happen, you'd look to all available resources... which would include another draft or alternative players for the player to perform."

I'm pretty sure that Boras must have said "alternative PLACES for the player to perform"...

Posted by: fischy | June 10, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Most of the relievers in the minors are rounds 6-9 with I think Atiliano 1st rounder by Atlanta. I think Mock might be a 3rd rounder. Storen would be the only 1st round reliever ... hopefully a replacement for Chad Cordero.

Posted by: periculum | June 10, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

"* By the way, up until the draft, he hadn't been following the Nats. He was focused on pitching for the Aztecs.


------

I don't believe that for a minute"

So you think he's one of the MASN 9,000? Hmmm. I wonder what his "defining moment" would be?

Posted by: nunof1 | June 10, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

nunof1, I think his defining moment will come when (if?) he signs that big fat contract.

Posted by: baltova1 | June 10, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

6 pitchers and 2 middle infielders in the first 7 rounds.

Posted by: Cavalier83 | June 10, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Just picked up Holder's teammate Andrew Weaver. Two pitchers from UGA's rotation headed for the GC rookie league.

Posted by: periculum | June 10, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

"6 pitchers and 2 middle infielders in the first 7 rounds."

Looks like Milledge is still hanging onto that "centerfielder of the future" crown, eh?

Posted by: nunof1 | June 10, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

He's probably more of a haiku type, nunof.

...and new post.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 10, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Oh, intervening posts again. I meant Strasburg.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 10, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

* By the way, up until the draft, he hadn't been following the Nats. He was focused on pitching for the Aztecs.


------

I don't believe that for a minute.

Posted by: baltova1 | June 10, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse
------------------------------

Yeah, I also call BS on:

* On whether he plans to pitch for the Nats in the big leagues this year: "You know what, we'll just have to wait and see. I just got picked yesterday. I haven't even thought about that yet."

Posted by: combedge | June 10, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Strasburg's defining moment? Wil Nieves, of course!

Posted by: you-dont | June 10, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Wow...I am thoroughly unimpressed with the answer he and Boras has to give...seems like he is just being used so Boras can make a point. This is going to be interesting. You would think when a team says they will pay you twice as much as any draft pick EVER you might take and even consider saying thanks

Posted by: JLR75 | June 10, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Good thing he has not been following this team. Seriously, I think his this will go down to the last minute with a high stakes game of chicken. There is too much to lose for both sides not to make a deal, so it will get worked out in the end. There will be big money, but alot of it will be incentive based.

Posted by: Tom8 | June 10, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

"Q: (paraphrased) If Stephen didn't sign with the Nationals, is there any way at the end to have Stephen sign as a free agent with any other major league club?"

-------------------------

Boras' answer (paraphrased): "You can bet I'm going to get my cut either way."


Posted by: SilverSpring8 | June 10, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

>"6 pitchers and 2 middle infielders in the first 7 rounds."

Sounds strangely like a Danny Snyder draft.

Posted by: Brue | June 10, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

>1. Loading up on Pitchers, specifically college arms.

2. Loading up on high-character people. offsetting the "Last Chance for any Headcase/Toolsy Outfielder" policy of the previous regime.

I'll come right out and admit, that as much as the Holder pick puzzles me....I LOVE this approach. absolutely love it. I hope this policy begins to extend from the Draft to the whole of our Organization.

High character. Whatever that is. I guess you can always penalize a player because his parents split up or he was in foster care or something. Just what you want, more docile people with 'high character and low ceiling' in a cutthroat business. Somebody needs to tell Dukes that Rizzo would never go after him because he was raised in the ghetto even though none of it was his fault. Let's penalize a kid because he had enough balls to survive a rotten situation as opposed to some brat like Milledge who's dad was chief of police and has been on a traveling team since he was 8. High character - what a low-life way to avoid drafting high upside players.

Posted by: Brue | June 10, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Boras is wrong about the draft not being collectively bargained. He just means it was bargained without him.

You have to be an MLB player to be part of the union.

Posted by: deMille_Ondefloss | June 10, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm still on record as saying that it would have been a lot better to draft someone that actually wants to be part of this organization. Strasburg's comments sound like he really doesn't want to come to Washington..... We need young guys that want to turn this town into a baseball town.....

Posted by: punchdaclock | June 10, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

The Nationals are going to sign Strasburg.

The organization has one of the lowest payrolls in the majors and will be off the hook from the Nick Johnson and Austin Kearns deals soon.

If there is one team other than the Yankees, Boston or LA that has the available resources it should be Washington given its lack of investment in anyone who costs money outside of Dunn and now Zimmerman.

My bet is that Strasburg will get half of what his agent is looking for - roughly $25M to sign.

That's a lot higher than Mark Prior whom he is being compared to who signed for $10M, but that was also back in 2001.

This club needs to sign Strasburg to keep the lights on at the stadium and finally I think that has registered with ownership.

If the club was willing to pay Mark Teixeira $184M to play first base, they have the money to pay the best prospect in baseball 20% of that.

Posted by: leopard09 | June 10, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

It is no wonder that a lot of teams try to avoid dealing with players represented by Boras. I suspect with Strasburg, Boras will take the approach that it is his way or the highway.

Posted by: bupbups | June 10, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

So, Rizzo did not even interview this kid before picking him? No tests, no psychological this or that, nothing? Wow.

Boras's stat line on the amateur pitchers with bonuses over $5 Milllion still being in the game is a bit much -- how many are we talking about? Maybe a dozen all time and most within the last decade?

Posted by: dfh21 | June 10, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Scott is in trouble. Look at the age level of players drafted 2-9. Owners are not going to pay them big bucks.

Unless KC has a real homeboy bonus, Crow is going to have to sign for much less than the Nats offered. And what are his options at age 23? KC has the hammer.

Nats should privately offer $16M (10 times the $1.6K for #10) and let Scott know that it goes down $100K per week after the initial offer.

Take a look at Scott's first round clients since 1996. J.D Drew is the cream of the crop. Over 40% didn't last more than four years in the Bigs. And a few never, ever got there. Yes there are four guys that are very young potential stars, but there were many more than that in the past.

A sixty percent growth over the previous first round record should be enough for even Scotty! But Dice K prices? Get a jacket for Scotty.

And Rizzo plus Stan should be dismissed if they never contacted Strasburg. Where is the due dilegence? Maybe on a mountain side in the DR.


Posted by: navboss | June 10, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company