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It's Done: Strasburg Agrees

Finally, after too much losing, years of scouting, and weeks of negotiating, the Washington Nationals secured the one good thing to come from all of it: They reached a deal with No. 1 draft pick Stephen Strasburg. No team has ever paid more to an amateur. And perhaps no team has ever gained more by signing one of its draft picks.

The contract with Strasburg -- worth $15.67 million over four years -- gives Washington, at once, the most hyped college pitcher in a generation and a legitimizing down payment on their build-with-young-talent blueprint. For weeks, the pitcher and the organization had been locked into the highest-stakes contract negotiations in amateur history, and the 11th-hour deal left both sides on edge as the midnight deadline approached. Deal done, Strasburg will begin his professional career, and the Nationals will enter an era very much tied to the career of their newest, richest player.

In the end, the Nationals' offer to Strasburg far exceeded the record for an amateur draftee, the $10.5 million awarded to Mark Prior in 2001. The landmark deal will likely gratify Washington's fan base and elevate its respect level through the league. The to-the-wire dealings with Strasburg were not necessarily a surprise, especially given the standard operating procedure of Strasburg's adviser Scott Boras, but Washington, too, was evaluating a franchise-defining decision.

The Nationals spent money. Lots. And as a result, Strasburg will now enter their minor league system and soon become an elemental part of their major league rotation.

Much more to come soon.

By Chico Harlan  |  August 18, 2009; 12:20 AM ET
 
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Next: Rizzo on Strasburg Deal

Comments

Finally a Nats WIN.

Posted by: poparoni | August 18, 2009 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Lerner's are cheap! I am impressed.

Posted by: sect104 | August 18, 2009 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Shirley, you paid the man. Now I can go to sleep. Way to go, Nats.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | August 18, 2009 12:23 AM | Report abuse

It's an honor to be the first to comment on this story. A new era of baseball in Washington has begun! LET'S GO NATS!!!

Posted by: DCNats | August 18, 2009 12:23 AM | Report abuse

Lol @ dcnats, but great work Lerners!

Posted by: amorris525 | August 18, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

pop that bubbly rizzo and et. you guys deserve it!

great night to be a nats fan!

Posted by: burnsrb | August 18, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Hallelujah. Very good news.

Posted by: samantha7 | August 18, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

thank you lerners...put strasburg in burlington for a few weeks!

Posted by: vnoahcampbell1 | August 18, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Its all Belliard's fault!

Posted by: periculum | August 18, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Good night, everyone.

Don't stay up too late, Chico.

Posted by: JohninMpls | August 18, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

That's pretty awesome. Nats fans can sleep well tonight, and look forward to hearing all the gory details tomorrow. Congrats to SS, and welcome to the party. You're going to love Natstown.

Posted by: Section222 | August 18, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

What a shocker. I said all along this was a media manufactured story, and a helluva lot of you sheep bought into it. There was never any doubt he would sign last minute. People need to stop believing every thing they read in the paper. The media is a business...too many otherwise intelligent people always seem to forget that.

Posted by: Barno1 | August 18, 2009 12:25 AM | Report abuse

OK, I can FINALLY eat my supper! Couldn't leave the computer long enough to put a tray in the microwave... This was actually fun--he's OURS.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | August 18, 2009 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Now, might as well be greedy and go for broke -- sign Rizzo, too!!

Posted by: samantha7 | August 18, 2009 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Been waiting for this all day! Let the new Nats era begin!

Posted by: rgpie | August 18, 2009 12:25 AM | Report abuse

well, it would have been an honor.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 18, 2009 12:25 AM | Report abuse

WOOOHOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: inthestreetindustry | August 18, 2009 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Outta Knob Creek... but we got SS. Time for bed.

Posted by: outsider6 | August 18, 2009 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Barno1 : Jason LaCanfora in disguise.

Posted by: periculum | August 18, 2009 12:26 AM | Report abuse

I hope one day we can name a school for him.

Posted by: CBinDC | August 18, 2009 12:26 AM | Report abuse

He's gonna blow his arm out...

Posted by: chombie13 | August 18, 2009 12:26 AM | Report abuse

When does he come to the park to be introduced and throw out the first pitch of a game. Probably get a sell out just to see that!!

Posted by: cokedispatch | August 18, 2009 12:26 AM | Report abuse

now let's hope they tank the rest of the year and beat out the Pirates, KC, and Padres for the right to draft Bryce Harper

Posted by: nativedc | August 18, 2009 12:26 AM | Report abuse

Thank yoooooooooouuuuuuuuuuuuuu Manny!

Posted by: RickFelt | August 18, 2009 12:27 AM | Report abuse

You were late AGAIN WaPo. ESPN and SI had this 10 minutes ago. Give me a break

Posted by: econ4 | August 18, 2009 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Bang Zoom go the fireworks (expensive fireworks, but fireworks nonetheless!)

Posted by: mo_dc | August 18, 2009 12:27 AM | Report abuse

SS I better see you out soon in clarendon buying JMU alumni girls all the soco and lime shots they want!

congrats to all the nats fans and to the front office!!!

this has been a fun night!!

Posted by: burnsrb | August 18, 2009 12:28 AM | Report abuse

don't get too worked up on Harper, unless you normally believe everything you read.
Can be one side or the other--Free Press, or Time/Life cover.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 18, 2009 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Barno, it was 90-10, maybe 99-1 he would sign. I think most people knew that. But remember, we are Nats fans, our team loses 2/3 of its games (ok, not quite). We still go to games.

We had fun tonight.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | August 18, 2009 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Courtesy of Brian Oliver again:

Official release is out

The Washington Nationals today agreed to terms on a professional contract with San Diego State University right-handed pitcher Stephen Strasburg, the first-overall selection in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft. Nationals President Stan Kasten and Assistant General Manager and Vice President of Baseball Operations Mike Rizzo made the joint announcement.

Strasburg—who stands 6-foot-4, 220 lbs and hails from San Diego—went 13-1 with a 1.32 ERA (16 ER/109.0 IP) in 15 starts as a junior for the Aztecs. Known for a strong blend of velocity and control, Strasburg fanned an NCAA-best 195 in 109.0 innings as a junior, or 16.1 K’s per 9.0 innings (tops in NCAA), en route to a 10.3/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Strasburg did not issue more than two walks in any game this season, and walked one or fewer batters in 10 of 15 starting assignments.

The 2009 recipent of both the Golden Spikes Award and the Dick Howser Trophy, Strasburg posted 13 double-digit strikeout totals in 2009, and he worked scoreless ball seven times in 15 starts. His regular season and conference-tournament efforts—San Diego State went 14-0 when he pitched—were largely responsible for the Aztecs securing their first NCAA Regional berth since 1991.

In three collegiate seasons, Strasburg went 22-7 with seven saves and a 1.59 ERA (43 ER/243.1 IP) in 52 games for San Diego State. He was San Diego State’s closer as a freshman and their top starter each of the last two seasons. In three seasons at SDSU, he was twice named Mountain West Conference Pitcher of the Year, and in 2007, he was named MWC Co-Freshman of the Year.

Strasburg’s baseball experiences extend far beyond the college level, however, as last summer he pitched for Team USA in the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. By doing so, he became the first collegiate member of Team USA since professional players were permitted in the Olympics in 2000.

His two-start stint—during which he posted a 2.45 ERA—in the Olympic tournament, coupled with his performance last summer with Team USA’s undefeated (24-0) National (collegiate) Team, made Strasburg the recipient of the 2008 Richard W. “Dick” Case Award as Team USA’s Athlete of the Year.

Posted by: periculum | August 18, 2009 12:28 AM | Report abuse

After all that, he's going to earn less in four years than the Big Donkey earns in two.

What was all that fuss about again?

Posted by: wahoo2x | August 18, 2009 12:28 AM | Report abuse

The Washington Nationals tonight agreed to terms with right-handed pitcher Nathan Karns, who was selected in the 12th round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft out of Texas Tech University. Nationals Assistant General Manager and Vice President of Baseball Operations Mike Rizzo made the announcement.

The 6-foot-4, 225 lbs. Karns went 4-5 and fanned 57 in 13 starts or 54.1 innings this season for Texas Tech. The 21 year-old Karns was originally drafted by the Astros in the 10th round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, but did not sign. He began his collegiate career at North Carolina State, but transferred to Texas Tech after his freshman season. Karns is currently pitching in the Texas Collegiate League, where he is 4-0 and ranks 3rd in ERA at 1.20.

With tonight’s signing, the Nationals have now agreed to terms with 28 players from the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, including 13 of their top 15 picks. The Nationals’ First-Year Player Draft class of 2009 is listed below, with those in bold having already signed or agreed to terms.

Posted by: periculum | August 18, 2009 12:29 AM | Report abuse

My sources tell me Strasburg was just signed

Posted by: Barno1 | August 18, 2009 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Would like to point out who the real first was to report this story...

Posted by: Barno1 | August 18, 2009 12:29 AM | Report abuse

"now let's hope they tank the rest of the year and beat out the Pirates, KC, and Padres for the right to draft Bryce Harper

Posted by: nativedc | August 18, 2009"

Let's not and say they did.

Posted by: periculum | August 18, 2009 12:30 AM | Report abuse

Join us, same time, same place next year when the Nats go after consecutive number 1 signings.

Posted by: tslats | August 18, 2009 12:30 AM | Report abuse

Is this what it feels like to give birth?

Congratulations Mr. Lerner...It's a pitcher...

Posted by: TimDz | August 18, 2009 12:30 AM | Report abuse

Because 10 minutes in the middle of the night on the latest signing of the last place baseball team is the most important thing in MY life.

Yeah, I know, but I'm up watching the Manny/Albert game. 3-2, Cards in the 9th.

*****************
You were late AGAIN WaPo. ESPN and SI had this 10 minutes ago. Give me a break

Posted by: econ4 | August 18, 2009 12:27 AM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 18, 2009 12:30 AM | Report abuse

OK so where does he go? I guess GCL or Harrisburg and AFL.

Posted by: estuartj | August 18, 2009 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Barno1 : Jason LaCanfora in disguise.

Posted by: periculum | August 18, 2009 12:26 AM | Report abuse

Dem be fightin words!

Posted by: Barno1 | August 18, 2009 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Tomorrow's game at Nats Park will be buzzing with excitement! Sure glad -- was NOT looking forward to an evening that would feel like a funeral!

Posted by: mo_dc | August 18, 2009 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Might as well ship him off to Dr. Andrews now..

Posted by: Section406 | August 18, 2009 12:32 AM | Report abuse

"He's gonna blow his arm out..."

I agree.

Posted by: jboogie1 | August 18, 2009 12:32 AM | Report abuse

Good deal guys,,,very good for all parties concerned.

Welcome to D.C. Strasburg, now we want our 20 + wins.

Posted by: dashriprock | August 18, 2009 12:32 AM | Report abuse

OK, that's worth a smile...

Let's not and say they did.
Posted by: periculum | August 18, 2009 12:30 AM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 18, 2009 12:33 AM | Report abuse

Hmmmm Walter Johnson was 21 in 1909 interesting Stephen Strasburg is 21 in 2009 now that is some universal balance.

Posted by: CBinDC | August 18, 2009 12:33 AM | Report abuse

Chico, did they hold the presses for you? I know there isn't a late edition anymore, except tonight, I guess.

Posted by: paulkp | August 18, 2009 12:34 AM | Report abuse

Who are the top picks to go unsigned, I saw Purke, but no others.

Posted by: estuartj | August 18, 2009 12:35 AM | Report abuse

Oh how I hope this kid is legit!!
As for next year..? I'd be happy with the 6th or 7th best amateur player in the nation!

Posted by: scmonty1 | August 18, 2009 12:35 AM | Report abuse

Good for the city.

Posted by: esch | August 18, 2009 12:37 AM | Report abuse

And he's gonna get old. And his socks stink. And eventually he'll realize we're all alone in a hostile, godless universe without any hope of happiness.
****************
"He's gonna blow his arm out..."
I agree.
Posted by: jboogie1 | August 18, 2009 12:32 AM |

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 18, 2009 12:37 AM | Report abuse

Ok so Purke at #14 is unsigned and LeVon Washington at #30 is unsigned, both HS kids...

Posted by: estuartj | August 18, 2009 12:37 AM | Report abuse

Who are the top picks to go unsigned, I saw Purke, but no others.

Posted by: estuartj | August 18, 2009 12:35 AM | Report abuse
*****************

The Rays failed to sign LeVon Washington, the #30 pick (also a Boras client)

Posted by: BGinVA | August 18, 2009 12:38 AM | Report abuse

Since he gets paid more than Lannan, ready to boo him after he loses 10 games?

Posted by: jboogie1 | August 18, 2009 12:39 AM | Report abuse

Wow this big I think the Lerners were going to screw this up like did with last years off season. New flash stop being cheap and get some talent, the National have a new stadium with sub par talent thank goodness for the $5 dollar seats because I woun't pay more then that until they get some more players outside of Dunn and Zimmer the rest of the team is suspect

Posted by: agarnett1000 | August 18, 2009 12:39 AM | Report abuse

Now just sign Bryce Harper, the next A-Rod in 2010

Posted by: monarg | August 18, 2009 12:39 AM | Report abuse

Syracuse...

Posted by: robinhood2 | August 18, 2009 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Someone who knows, 4-year deal, how many years do we have him locked in after that (how many years of arb?)

Well done Nats!! And Karns to boot!

Posted by: curz | August 18, 2009 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Chico (and the NATS) got in WaPo's Breaking News. Hooray!

Posted by: Nats_Lady | August 18, 2009 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Of course, Baseball Tonight starts with...the Yankees-A's game.

Posted by: BGinVA | August 18, 2009 12:40 AM | Report abuse

This process would have been alot more fun if it included a chimney with white smoke, like when picking a pope

Posted by: JABrooks | August 18, 2009 12:41 AM | Report abuse

Way to get the deal done Nats. The light is getting brighter.

Posted by: JT2009 | August 18, 2009 12:42 AM | Report abuse

No sports player is worth that kind of money. It stinks. And it's the fans who are to blame. Quit supporting them! We tax ourselves to build their playgrounds and then they rip us off with their exorbitant ticket prices so they can pay undeserving players these obscene amounts of money. It's sick.

Posted by: gcan1 | August 18, 2009 12:42 AM | Report abuse

Gang,

Great news! However, the Nat's better find a top notch coach to get this kid ready for the majors. It is one thing to be a great college pitcher, another to be in the big leagues. Find the coach!

Posted by: duh2mag | August 18, 2009 12:42 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, that Willingham guy is a bum. And Guzman is only hitting .317. And Nyjer Morgan--don't get me started.
I'm glad I'll be in center field tomorrow night. I guess Bill Veeck was wrong.

**************
thank goodness for the $5 dollar seats because I woun't pay more then that until they get some more players outside of Dunn and Zimmer the rest of the team is suspect

Posted by: agarnett1000 | August 18, 2009 12:39 AM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 18, 2009 12:43 AM | Report abuse

Yeah. Who cares about division races or the World Series?

WE GOT STRASBERG.

===============================================
Of course, Baseball Tonight starts with...the Yankees-A's game.

Posted by: BGinVA | August 18, 2009 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Nats_Lady | August 18, 2009 12:44 AM | Report abuse

I'm not even disagreeing, I'm just wondering what you're doing in here.
**************
No sports player is worth that kind of money. It stinks. And it's the fans who are to blame. Quit supporting them! We tax ourselves to build their playgrounds and then they rip us off with their exorbitant ticket prices so they can pay undeserving players these obscene amounts of money. It's sick.

Posted by: gcan1 | August 18, 2009 12:42 AM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 18, 2009 12:45 AM | Report abuse

If SS plays all 4 years in the bigs he'll still have 2 arbitration years under team control before he becomes a FA after year 6.

Posted by: estuartj | August 18, 2009 12:45 AM | Report abuse

Thank You....Thank You...Thank You.

Posted by: Dougie3 | August 18, 2009 12:46 AM | Report abuse

Finally something positive for this team... I still think it would be cool to start him immediately & don't let him pitch past 5 innings, just to see where he is at or how far he has to go... I think he could handle it even if the results weren't the best... sure would give fans something to see.

Posted by: tony325 | August 18, 2009 12:46 AM | Report abuse

Cheap Lerners didn't sign their 5th round pick. Cheap cheap cheap . . . clearly they are cheap.

Posted by: RedBee | August 18, 2009 12:48 AM | Report abuse

He's been out for a while, and he threw a lot of innings in college already. If he pitches this Sept., it won't be until then, and it won't be much.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 18, 2009 12:48 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, these huge rookie signings always turn out great. Guaranteed World Series victory. You guys are nuts. In five years he will either be flamed out or a Yankee.

Posted by: Potter2 | August 18, 2009 12:48 AM | Report abuse

Stephen Strasburg:

Four-year major league deal, $7.5 million bonus, $7.6 million in salaries (including pro-rated $400,000 salary for remainder of 2009), $15.1 million total guaranteed. Also various incentives based on big league award voting.

Posted by: BGinVA | August 18, 2009 12:48 AM | Report abuse

Can't beleive i wouldn't shut off my computer till this was over. Good move just have to wait and see now. If I was him I'd be in Georgetown and drunk that's why i don't have to worry about signing a mmulti-million deal. that and i have no talent.

Posted by: tammanyhall2109 | August 18, 2009 12:48 AM | Report abuse

Thanks. Dumb follow up question: So that means we have him w/arb through 2014 or 2015? (is 2009 or 2010 = year 1)

Posted by: curz | August 18, 2009 12:49 AM | Report abuse

maybe we should start him tomorrow?

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

Finally something positive for this team... I still think it would be cool to start him immediately & don't let him pitch past 5 innings, just to see where he is at or how far he has to go... I think he could handle it even if the results weren't the best... sure would give fans something to see.

Posted by: tony325 |

Posted by: JABrooks | August 18, 2009 12:49 AM | Report abuse

"Yeah, these huge rookie signings always turn out great. Guaranteed World Series victory. You guys are nuts. In five years he will either be flamed out or a Yankee.

Posted by: Potter2 | August 18, 2009 "

Hmmm well you might be right except ... well gee so far the "rookies signed" from this vintage appear to be doing extremely well. Led by Drew Storen and Trevor Holder. Now joined by Steven Strasburg and Nathan Karns.

A World Series first and foremost requires an almost unbeatable starting rotation, along with a closer and some pretty un hittable holders. Sure looks to me like that is going to happen sooner rather than later ...

Add in a pretty respectable heart of the order?

Now all that is needed is a pretty good veteran pitcher to lead and mentor, plus a middle infield, and a return to form of Jesus Flores and ... there appears to be lot to look forward to.

Posted by: periculum | August 18, 2009 12:53 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, but what a great five years we can hope for.

===============================================
You guys are nuts. In five years he will either be flamed out or a Yankee.

Posted by: Potter2 | August 18, 2009 12:48 AM

Posted by: Nats_Lady | August 18, 2009 12:54 AM | Report abuse

and the Padres get up off the deck with 2 outs in the 9th against the Cubs to win 4-1.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 18, 2009 12:54 AM | Report abuse

great news!

Posted by: TGT11 | August 18, 2009 12:57 AM | Report abuse

He doesn't have to be the next Cy Young, or even Greg Maddux. The next Mike Mussina would do fine.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 18, 2009 12:57 AM | Report abuse

"Walter Johnson was 21 in 1909 interesting Stephen Strasburg is 21 in 2009 now that is some universal balance"

and in 2109, Strasburg will get a statue with 6 arms

Posted by: TGT11 | August 18, 2009 12:59 AM | Report abuse

Colorado.

Posted by: periculum | August 18, 2009 1:01 AM | Report abuse

"He doesn't have to be the next Cy Young, or even Greg Maddux. The next Mike Mussina would do fine.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 18, 2009"

I'll take Randy Johnson ... or Steve Carlton.

Posted by: periculum | August 18, 2009 1:03 AM | Report abuse

Nope off to Hagerstown he goes ... he can catch up to Holder and Storen ...

Posted by: periculum | August 18, 2009 1:04 AM | Report abuse

"He doesn't have to be the next Cy Young, or even Greg Maddux."

At this point, I'd be happy if he became the next Mike Maddux.

Posted by: TGT11 | August 18, 2009 1:06 AM | Report abuse

I hear Strasburg is really lefthanded and was just throwing righthanded to make everyone else feel better. As a lefty he throws 139 and has a 14-foot curveball. And he's still a good enough pitcher with his right hand that he can pitch as a righty between lefty starts.

Posted by: 202character | August 18, 2009 2:01 AM | Report abuse

Previous record holder Mark Prior at $10.5 million has a career total 42 wins. Nationals better hope they get more than that out of Strasburg for $15 million.

Posted by: robperez1 | August 18, 2009 6:13 AM | Report abuse

I want to know more about this contract. Is the agreement for 3 years + 45 days, or 4 years + 45 days?

Congrats Nats!

Posted by: rbelleisle | August 18, 2009 7:32 AM | Report abuse

Wow what a great signing.GO EXPO'S GO

Posted by: honourofelvis | August 18, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

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