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Nats Offer Strasburg Record-Setting Contract

The Nationals have offered No. 1 overall draft pick Stephen Strasburg the largest contract ever for a pitcher taken in the amateur draft, according to industry sources. Their proposed deal is worth more than Mark Prior's $10.5-million contract in 2001 and has been on the table for some time.

Strasburg is now virtually certain to make at least twice as much money, if he signs with the Nats, as last season's top amateur-draft contract of $6 million, according to sources who requested anonimity because of the sensitivity of negotations between the team and player. A deal must be finalized by midnight on Monday or Strasburg will reenter the draft next season and the Nationals will be conpensated with the No. 2 overall pick in 2010.

Some scouts and baseball executives consider Strasburg the best pitching prospect in the history of the game. There have been similar evalautions of young pitchers in the past, but since the draft began in 1965, only one pitcher taken with any of the first 18 selections in the draft has ever won 200 games (Kevin Brown, 211).

The Nationals dealings with Strasburg and his agent Scott Boras now appear to parallel last winter's negotiations between the team and free agent Mark Teixeira, also represented by Boras. The Nats then put out an initial offer of $160 million for eight seasons but, during the course of the talks, only moderately raised their final offer to $188 million for nine years. If that template is repeated, Strasburg may end up being offered something between $14-16 million, a third to a half higher than the current benchmark contract of Prior.

Boras has indicated that, for analysis of comparable values, the proper analogy may be to the prices paid for top international players, specifically pitcher Daisuke Matsusaka of the Red Sox who received $50 million three years ago. The two sides likely won't reach an agreement -- if they do at all --until the final minutes before the Monday night deadline.

By Thomas Boswell  |  August 15, 2009; 10:46 AM ET
 
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Comments

The Nationals should tell Strasburg and Boras to come back when he has the same number of years facing professional batters as Dice-K did when he signed with the Red Sox, and then he might be worth Dice-K money.

Posted by: nunof1 | August 15, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Hey, I heard about this guy. Supposed to be a pretty good pitcher, I think. We could use some more of those, so I hope we get him.

Posted by: Scooter_ | August 15, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

I'm amazed that Boras is using Dice-K given that he has been in and out of the minors this year trying to sort his game out.

Posted by: soundbloke | August 15, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Like every Nats fan, I hope we get Strasburg, but at least it's pretty clear the Lerners are making a generous offer and that if he doesn't sign, it won't be for lack of trying. Eight of the Nats' top 10 draft picks have signed, and Storen is moving rapidly through the system. With or without Strasburg, I think Rizzo has done well.

Posted by: nats24 | August 15, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Signing this guy will just give the Nats an excuse to once again fleece the pockets of the fans with higher ticket prices. Until the fans just say no and stop going to games the trend will continue. I see no sign of this happening as we just like going to the games and will always pay the price. It is just a fact of life we've all come to accept. We will pay whatever the price is. Is there a limit? I'm not sure. Perhaps one day we'll find out. See you at the game.

Posted by: cokedispatch | August 15, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Yeah -- Dice-K is a bad representation, either way. First, he was a much more known quantity, with his WBC efforts and pro career. Second, he's not doing too well, right now. Yeah, they got to the World Series his first year, but the Red Sox might be wishing they'd spent that money elsewhere and let the Yankees win that bidding war.

Even still, $15 million sounds about right, but the Nats can't let him get away like Crow, if the sides are even remotely close. Play with incentives. Get it done.

Posted by: fischy | August 15, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Baseball should have a slotting system just like the NBA and the NFL. This whole thing would have been over a long time ago. Bud Selig just doesnt get it.

Posted by: HightaxesMOCO | August 15, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Sounds good to me... If he doesn't want 15-20 mil let him sit out.

Posted by: theredskin | August 15, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

"Baseball should have a slotting system just like the NBA and the NFL. This whole thing would have been over a long time ago. Bud Selig just doesnt get it."

That change has be collectively bargained with the MLB Player's Association. Since draft picks are tied to MLB free agent compensation, Selig cannot unilaterally impose slot bonuses. The MLB CBA is up for renewal in 2011 at which point that just might happen.

Posted by: Brian_ | August 15, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Um. Okay. Read it twice and I still don't gt it. Is it twice Prior's money ($21M) or $14-16M?

Posted by: NatsNut | August 15, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

They have to offer at least 20M, they knew that when they drafted him. If Boras walks away from that to make his player the third overall draft pick next year, so be it.

Posted by: RedBee | August 15, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

wait. ok. just read it again. that would be twice *last year's* top pick money, not Prior's.

So now we're talking $12-16M? Not a bad offer but I bet it goes higher.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 15, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

"Um. Okay. Read it twice and I still don't gt it. Is it twice Prior's money ($21M) or $14-16M?"

It said twice as much as last year's #1 overall pick, HS SS Tim Beckham ($6.15M).

Posted by: Brian_ | August 15, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Number 2 in 2010 is looking better every day. He might be a great pitcher, but the Nats are finally turning it around with fundamental players and better management. The wagon is still broken, but you don't add a prima donna to the mix and think that's going to be the elixir. He's still only going to pitch once every couple of days. Plus Scott Boras asks for too much money. Let the Yankees or somebody else pay him all that money. Trade for a proven vet.

Posted by: Carole5520 | August 15, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I read the other day that Boras is now pushing something in the neighborhood of $30 million and has backed off the Dice-K comparisons. The Lerners were not close to that, but the speculation was the contract would end up in the twenties for its duration. So I wonder if the signing bonus isn't in the $14-16 million ballpark and then they have a four or five year deal tacked onto the back of that worth another $6-7 million.

Posted by: Juliasdad | August 15, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I just want to point out again to all who have taken cheap shots at the Nats this whole year (Wise, Wilbon, the entire WTEM broadcast team Snip and Snark, Fark and Shark)

AARON CROW HAS STILL NOT SIGNED WITH ANYONE, that would be ANYONE

Maybe last year it was 500K or Bowden's grifter manner but this time feels like brinkmanship on Boras's part fed by a sports media need for moronic conflict outside the sports themselves

Posted by: CBinDC | August 15, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Uncle Teddy, Pay the freight. Get it done.

This philosophy of "we'll get a replacement pick in the 1st round next year" Is a cheap, loser's mentality and it has got to end somewhere.

So, let's say they don't sign Strasburg this year, then they will have the first 2 picks next year and that will cost them, plenty.

At some point, they will need to step up.

It's the price of doing business in MLB, if they don't want to do it, they should have stuck to real estate.

Posted by: Section505203 | August 15, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

"Until the fans just say no and stop going to games the trend will continue."

Where are these so called fans that are going to the games now?

Posted by: dbrine1261 | August 15, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Pay the man, Shirley.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | August 15, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Boras isn't comparing Strasburg to Dice-K because of performance or even talent similarities. He's doing it to prove a philosophical point.

He's trying to blow up 1st player compensation and go to a "purer" system based on market worth.

Which, at least for Selig, adds another level of intrigue to the negotiations.

Posted by: JohninMpls | August 15, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Scott Boras is wrong. There is no Japanese law that the Red Sox had to overcome to get Dice-K who has flamed out already because of WBC in Spring and excessive throwing in practice. Boras will not let kid sign as he can get more by a years delay. Boras is impossible and has saddled Red Sox with some horrible winners who are still being paid years after they were cut loose from team. Nats are in big trouble now with prospect.

Posted by: mascmen7 | August 15, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

The Crow thing was a mess for sure, but this is not the same. When you are doubling last years bonus and offering a contract worth more than 50% more than anyone at your position ever without ever throwing a strike in the major leagues, the team s doing their part. This kid is not going to turn the franchise around or even make much noise for years. It would suck to not have the pick, but a bunch of others they did sign are doing well. Sooner or later they will draft someone that actually wants to play and get paid and not sit around fo a year. The Orioles signed Weiters about 10 min before the deadline. He is a Boras client as well. This deal gets done Monday night.

Posted by: dbrine1261 | August 15, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Was the Texiera dance by Kasten & Co just a preliminary for the "big" negotiation? They knew they wouldnt get Tex --- but they helped drive up the price for the Yankees. Kasten gets a chance to build up a relationship... Then the real dealing starts for SS.

Posted by: nattydread1 | August 15, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

By the way, if Strasburg does have to reenter the draft next year and I am the Nats with the first two picks, then I draft him again! See how many years he is willing to wait?

Posted by: dbrine1261 | August 15, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

It's the price of doing business in MLB, if they don't want to do it, they should have stuck to real estate.

Posted by: Section505203

So true, Section505203. The Lerners are so far out of their element in MLB it's embarrassing. The Teixeira thing was a sham because they knew the Yanks would swoop it and ace them; in fact, they were counting on it. I've read Boz's post at least five times, and still do not know what the offer exactly is. This is written in Boz-Boras code. Is the deal $16 million, or not? Condo, or not? Some lease space at Reston Town Center, or not?

All I know is this: the Nationals are the laughing stock of baseball as it is. One misstep here, and the Lerners have to be contracted out of the game. The only member of that Uncle Teddy-Markie Mark-Stank-Rizzo quartet that I would trust in this deal is Rizzo. Poor guy: his future in baseball relies on this pimply faced kid, Boras and the Three Stooges. How's that working out, Mike?

Posted by: jdschulz50 | August 15, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Offer Strasburg a dollar for every grain of sand he can hold in his hand, plus a telescope!

Posted by: cabraman | August 15, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

with the first two picks, then I draft him again! See how many years he is willing to wait?

Posted by: dbrine1261

*****************

Nats would need his permission to draft him again.

Rumor had it they asked Crow's permission to draft him again this year and he said no.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 15, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

By the way, if Strasburg does have to reenter the draft next year and I am the Nats with the first two picks, then I draft him again! See how many years he is willing to wait?

You can't draft the guy in the following year unless you receive his permission, so this strategy won't work.

Posted by: johndec | August 15, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

in order to draft SS again they would have to get his permission. This was discussed earlier pertaining to Crow.

Posted by: WashOut | August 15, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

> I've read Boz's post at least five times, and still do not know what the offer exactly is.

Here's a hint: Boz doesn't know what the offer exactly is, either. And neither do any of his sources. The only ones who know what the offer exactly is are the Lerners, Strasburg and Boras. And they ain't talking.

You, me and Boswell will find out what the offer exactly is on Tuesday, after it's either accepted or rejected.

Posted by: nunof1 | August 15, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

carole5520 says: "Number 2 in 2010 is looking better every day. He might be a great pitcher, but the Nats are finally turning it around with fundamental players and better management. The wagon is still broken, but you don't add a prima donna to the mix and think that's going to be the elixir. He's still only going to pitch once every couple of days. Plus Scott Boras asks for too much money. Let the Yankees or somebody else pay him all that money. Trade for a proven vet."

Yes, it is starting again. Last year, Crow was the greediest, most selfish jerk on the planet for wanting half-a-million more than the Nats were willing to sign him for. Now SS is a prima donna who will wreck the wonderful team chemistry of our Nats. And next year, Bryce Harper will be some punk kid a-hole and it is better to be without him too.

No one seemed to care what Crow had to say about the Nats, because he is deemed to be such a jerk, but here it is: "Honestly, I just hope for a better situation [next year] than it was with Washington," Crow said. "The way they dealt and handled everything, the way they talked to me and my family ... I think any of the 29 other teams would have handled it better. I'm just really looking to get into a better situation than I was dealing with the Nationals."

How come all these other teams sign their top picks?

Posted by: EdDC | August 15, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

This may be the dumbest thing i have heard in a while. Cokedispatch I advise you keep your mouth shut until you can bring some acutal facts to the table. Fans like yourself are half the reason there is such a losers mentality associated with this team. Never happy and always negative. Actually just shut up and save yourself the embarrassment of actually speaking.
---------------------------
cokedispatch:
Signing this guy will just give the Nats an excuse to once again fleece the pockets of the fans with higher ticket prices. Until the fans just say no and stop going to games the trend will continue. I see no sign of this happening as we just like going to the games and will always pay the price. It is just a fact of life we've all come to accept. We will pay whatever the price is. Is there a limit? I'm not sure. Perhaps one day we'll find out. See you at the game.

Posted by: jkraeg | August 15, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Cokedispatch may be right. I love going to the games too, but as long as we go out there and contribute to the profits, why should the Nats change? Probably they will sign SS (that's my guess), but they have been trimming elsewhere to free up the resources to sign him. The Nats have their business model going, fielding a cheap team, playing in a paid-for ballpark, and raking in pretty good money:

http://www.forbes.com/lists/2009/33/baseball-values-09_The-Business-Of-Baseball_Income.html

That one showed the Nats as MLB's second most profitable. Want more facts? Look at the payroll:

http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=p4ew-fwu2XT3cpPRtt9qIGw

Posted by: EdDC | August 15, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Boras needs to be beat down. He is the scum of sports agents. His tactics are barbaric and he makes things difficult even when people are trying to make something happen. I am sorry, I hear tons of guys being called the once in a lifetime pitcher and as the article clearly stated, they all fail and nothing comes of them. Only one has lived up to the hype. The kid has not pitched one inning against the likes of Manny, Jeter or Rodriguez. He has not thrown one strike against these guys and I am suppose to believe he is a Kevin Brown or Dice-K or better.... Please!!!!!! Stop drinking the Kool-Aid and show me something. College and the Pros are two different things. Just ask any NFL rookie that steps on the field for the first time or a NBA rookie getting schooled by the likes of Kobe or D-Wade. This kid has not shown me or any Nats fans a thing so until he does I am not drinking the Kool-Aid.

Posted by: ajb1094 | August 15, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

"College and the Pros are two different things. Just ask any NFL rookie that steps on the field for the first time or a NBA rookie getting schooled by the likes of Kobe or D-Wade."

Jake Long got a $30 million signing bonus as part of his 5 year, $57 million contract.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | August 15, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Why is this post under Boswell's byline? Was it to hard to give Kasten an account for one post, or did we think that no one would figure out that it was ghost-written?

Posted by: buckwheaton1 | August 15, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

EdDC,

Nobody denying the fact that the Lerners are business men. Good ones at that. They are billionaires for a reason. My problem is with the constant negative talk by fans like yourself and cokedispatch. Did the Lerners make some mistakes, of course. Ill give them a pass as being first time baseball owners. Rizzo is dong an excellent job as GM. Those who don't think so clearly do not have an ounce of basballe knowledge. Example the Nyger Burnett deal. They will sign SS, hire Rizzo as the full time GM, Katzen is a proven President (Atlanta anyone?) Riggs has brought some discipline and some passion to this team. By they way I know 10 dollars for tickets really breaks the bank at a brand new beautiful ballpark. So take your irrelevant profit stats and shove them up your a**. Support your team, be positive, give them some time. Granted there was a setback with Bowden but look what has happened since. (Yet more reasons to keep Rizz) He has cut loose all of Bowden's "give em a chance and take a risk" player's and replaced them with young arms and Nyjer types. Seriously does anyone else get tired of the cheap Lerner's this team sucks negativity or am I the only one?

Posted by: jkraeg | August 15, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

If I was a ballplayer, you can bet all you own, ever hope to own, and your first born that I would want Boras to be my agent. He's the best at what he does, and that's why so many players have him for an agent.

Posted by: deMille_Ondefloss | August 15, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

As to why some of us are "too negative": we have been hoping for, and in some cases working for, an MLB team for a long time. The Nats have one of the richest and largest regions in MLB--way above average for MLB. People forget that.

When the Nats make an average-level MLB commitment to building this franchise, then the positivity returns. Average. That's all. When that happens, I'll be as goofy as any of you. I'll join y'all in thinking that our future OF of Justin Maxwell, Mike Daniels and Michael Burgess will be among baseball's best, and I'll agree that the Nats have a "surplus" of starting pitcher prospects. I'll jump on board and stay there!

The Nats are nowhere close to average right now in their financial commitment.

Posted by: EdDC | August 15, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

EdDC,

So your solution is to throw money at overvalued, short term, FA's? You build a franchise for the long term with young arms (FACT: 30 out of 51 picks were used for pitching this year.) trade for quality middle infield prospects with the young arms you have drafted and developed and you sing FA's to fill in the last of the missing pieces once you are competitive. Is this a plan that fixes things overnight? NO. Are the Nats even average right now, NO. Is anyone denying that this region is one of the wealthiest or the Lerner's are some of the wealthiest owners in baseball? NO. Is the argument that signing SS wil raise already high 10 dollar ticket prices irrelevant and just plain stupid? Yes. The fact that you back that argument up with profit statistics from Forbes show how little you know about this sport. All I am saying is I personally like the moves that have been made recently. I like the direction that this team is headed and I'll take a few painful years in exchange for a long term winning franchise. In my personal opinion I see the signs that the FO is finally working towards that. Was this the case last year? NO. Was this even the case at the beginning of the year? NO. Again I personally feel that the problems they had in the past all were rooted in Bowden. Since Mike Rizz has taken over I like the direction that this team is headed. So now come back at me with some more useless information please.

Posted by: jkraeg | August 15, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Sit tight, don't offer a penny more, and take the #2 pick next year as compensation. That would give the Natinals two of the top 3 picks, most likely. So they could then use one on a real player not represented by Boras, and use the other on Strasburg again.

Think the kid wants to sit out TWO years of baseball?

Posted by: kemp13 | August 15, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

jkraeg...I like the direction the team is taking also. I wasn't knocking the system, just pointing it out. It is a reality that we've all come to accept. See you at the game.

Posted by: cokedispatch | August 15, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Let him go pitch in the Atlantic League next year. Wouldn't it be absolutely HILARIOUS if he flamed out and ended up being offered nothing?

Posted by: JERRYB1 | August 15, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Cokedispatch,

Problem is it's not a reality. $10!!! Is that too much for you to pay to go to a game? Signing SS will have no effect on raising ticket prices. Where does that statement come from? It's not reality. Coke apologies for the shots at you I just get frustrated with the constant negativity on here. For the most part it's baseless and a little ridiculous. Again apologies for the direct shots. Go Nats!

Posted by: jkraeg | August 15, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

@cokedispatch: "Signing this guy will just give the Nats an excuse to once again fleece the pockets of the fans with higher ticket prices."

What higher ticket prices are those? My seats in Nats Park, comparable to my seats in RFK, where $4 per game cheaper. The price did not go up for 2009. Ticket prices in many sections went down.

The team has not played well on the field for most of this season, but I do not feel "fleeced" when it comes to the price of tickets. Don't know where you get this.

Posted by: shepdave2003 | August 15, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, typo:

My seats in Nats Park, comparable to my seats in RFK, were $4 per game cheaper in 2008 than in 2007.

Posted by: shepdave2003 | August 15, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

"Here's a hint: Boz doesn't know what the offer exactly is, either. And neither do any of his sources. The only ones who know what the offer exactly is are the Lerners, Strasburg and Boras. And they ain't talking."
-----------------------------------------------------------

Wait. I thought 1stBaseCoach's friend's uncle's nephew's girlfriend's sister's friend's boss's waiter-employee overheard that it was 23M while waiting on the SS/Nats country club table. So that person also knows. And if you can't trust an anonymous poster's friend's uncle's nephew's girlfriend's sister's friend's boss's waiter-employee.....

Posted by: Ted_Striker | August 15, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Exactly, which is why I don't plan to get spun up about it one way or the other until Tuesday morning.

---

Here's a hint: Boz doesn't know what the offer exactly is, either. And neither do any of his sources. The only ones who know what the offer exactly is are the Lerners, Strasburg and Boras. And they ain't talking.

You, me and Boswell will find out what the offer exactly is on Tuesday, after it's either accepted or rejected.

Posted by: nunof1 | August 15, 2009 1:18 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 15, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Using Diasuke Matsuzaka as a starting point is just Boras being Boras. Strasburg wont get the 51m contract. Matsuzaka came with professional experience in Japan and had won the World Baseball Classic MVP and an Olympic Bronze Medal.

The main problem with Diasuke is he is a nibbler. He hasnt been bad when he just trusts his stuff and goes after hitters. They won the world series his first year and he went like 15-12 with an ERA of 4-ish. His second year was much much better as he went 18-3 with a sub 3 era. He also had the lowest opponent average in the league, however his control and nitpicking spots caused him to walk a ton of people and usually be out after 5 innings regardless of how well the numbers were.

The key is the Nationals have to sign this kid. They cannot afford a "well it wasnt for lack of trying" They failed last year and cannot fail again. Being the worst team in the majors is a double edged sword with the fact that top picks are demanding more and more money these days. Every sport is the same so the Nationals have to buck up and sign their top picks to help turn the trend so it doesnt be an every year thing where they have the #1 or #2 pick.

Posted by: Killerangel81 | August 15, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I hope the Nats spend some money on a couple of proven pitchers as well. Everyone is different, but I don't like speending so much money on a pitcher who has never faced a major league quality bat...

Posted by: noPostFoxTypeNewsPlease | August 15, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

The real question is how much less would they pay to that 2010 second round pic. And how good of a fee agent pitcher can they pickup with the difference.

These can't miss amateur pitchers never pan out. Let him go and leverage this to get 4 or 5 strong prospects.

What would the yanks or redsox give up for him?

Posted by: riktiktik1 | August 15, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Ted_Striker

Don't forget that that the friend's uncle's nephew's girlfriend's sister's friend's boss's waiter-employee is also the boyfriend of SS's cousin's friend's uncle's co-worker's sister in-law who happens to know Boras through a friend of her sister's aunt. Reliable source right there. 23M it's practically a done deal!

Posted by: jkraeg | August 15, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

>Yes, it is starting again. Last year, Crow was the greediest, most selfish jerk on the planet for wanting half-a-million more than the Nats were willing to sign him for. Now SS is a prima donna who will wreck the wonderful team chemistry of our Nats. And next year, Bryce Harper will be some punk kid a-hole and it is better to be without him too.

How come all these other teams sign their top picks?
Posted by: EdDC

People get all emotional when it comes to big money, even when it's not theirs for some reason. I've never figured out this jealousy 'that guy doesn't deserve more than a guy that's played in the majors' thing. It's like Dave Johnson raving about it today on MASN like his feelings will get hurt if Strasburg gets paid. Like Chico said, they could trade his ass after 12 months and the Red Sox (or whomever thought they were one starter away) would gladly give up 5 of their top prospects to get him, because they'll never find a guy with all the tools he has. Never. Not drafting where they do every year. There's so much the Nats could do from an operational standpoint once they have him in the fold, I mean, they could put together a real team with some bench depth and some competition for spots. They could do a three-way trade if one organization doesn't have enough prospects to satisfy the Nats. They'd be in the driver's seat. FOR ONCE

Posted by: Brue | August 15, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

>These can't miss amateur pitchers never pan out.

Posted by: riktiktik1

lol where does this garbage come from? Do people really believe this stuff?

Posted by: Brue | August 15, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

It looks like he will likely sign ... and start next year ... 1 year behind Storen, Holder, and AJ Morris, etc.

Posted by: periculum | August 15, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

jkraeg says:'EdDC, So your solution is to throw money at overvalued, short term, FA's? "

No, I have consistently said I don't like over-the-hill types. I say sign FAs and later trade them into prospects or watch them become high draft picks when they sign elsewhere. I consistently say trade for guys who make decent salaries, so they can be turned into draft picks or prospects, via the same routes. Try the international market more. Sign your top draft picks. Don't focus too much on under-slot draft picks to free up money for your expensive draft picks. All this takes some money but it has long-term payoffs, not just short-term. Expand your budgets to average MLB levels.

All of this gets interpreted as signing old, fat, overpriced, slow guys. I don't want them any more than you do!

Sadly, the Nats have signed just one rather high-priced FA under the Lerners (Dunn) and he has worked out. The highest priced guy the Nats have accepted in a trade, under the Lerners, was Josh Willingham at a modest $2.95 million. See? The Nats should be more of that, instead of pretending to be poor. You can support frugality all you want, but unfortunately for the Lerners, sometimes you have to spend to improve your product.

Posted by: EdDC | August 15, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if SS realizes that he is being used by Borass? Whether he gets SS signed or not, Borass will die rich. SS, on the other hand comes from the middle class, and if he does not sign, then gets hurt, oh well.

If I had been SS's "advisor", I would have thought a little outside the box. The draft applies to US players. Why not have had SS move exactly 25 miles south of SDSU one year and a day before the draft and establish his residency in Tijuana, MEXICO? At the very least, this would have raised all kinds of interesting legal possibilities...

Posted by: JERRYB1 | August 15, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

NoPostFoxTypeNewsPlease says: "Everyone is different, but I don't like speending so much money on a pitcher who has never faced a major league quality bat..."

Were the Red Sox sorry they wasted all that money on Roger Clemens, their first-rounder? And like Brue says, why are we all so focused on saving money for the Lerners? Do we like shopping at their malls that much?

Posted by: EdDC | August 15, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

"I hope the Nats spend some money on a couple of proven pitchers as well. Everyone is different, but I don't like speending so much money on a pitcher who has never faced a major league quality bat...

Posted by: noPostFoxTypeNewsPlease | August 15, 2009"

They really only need one ... to replace Olsen and provide stability and consistency. They have some decent vets in the bullpen now. It really seems to finally be time to bring up the pitching prospects to see what they can do. Figure out which fit the plan and find good trades for the rest.

The questions is: will it be Rizzo or someone else doing that .. Rizzo is an older baseball guy. While the other two are a lot younger ... especially the guy from Boston ... that seems like Mark Lerner's inclination.

Posted by: periculum | August 15, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Shep, I guess I just go back to far in history. You know us oldtimers, hard to adjust. But, I know things change and we gotta change with them or get left behind. I'm tryin, but I just get frustrated by all the financial aspects of it these days. When is eneough $$ eneough.

Posted by: cokedispatch | August 15, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I wonder? If we keep bashing Belliard will Ronnie hit 2-3 homers, win the game, and get Strasburg signed?

Posted by: periculum | August 15, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

BOZ: Nice way to drive up webpost#'s. Toss up a pinata for everyone (& their cranky brother-in-law) to take a whack at.

An offer is on the table - we've known that since June. What the "bottom-line" value is, we'll probably never know, unless it's signed. If I were to take a guess, it's about $23M total, with $16M as bonus, and a $7M max, 5-yr contract with incentives. We might see what the real deal was on Tuesday, but until then, I'm with 1a1 n not getting revved up over this.

Posted by: BinM | August 15, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

The ulitmate old-timer Ted Williams' take:
(Here's one for Boras especially :))

"If I was being paid thirty-thousand dollars a year, the very least I could do was hit .400."

Posted by: periculum | August 15, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Any truth that Wille Harris is flying to San Diego to wrap up these SS negotiations. Willie gets id done.

Posted by: cokedispatch | August 15, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

>Shep, I guess I just go back to far in history. You know us oldtimers, hard to adjust. But, I know things change and we gotta change with them or get left behind. I'm tryin, but I just get frustrated by all the financial aspects of it these days. When is eneough $$ eneough.

Posted by: cokedispatch

And guess what? You'll never know how much is enough because the owners and MLB don't have to open their books to the public. You're barking up the wrong tree. Do you think that Bud Selig deserves 17 million a year? Of course he does, MLB is rolling in the dough. The players only get a fraction of what's being made. It's the perfect scenario for MLB, because nobody asks them why they make so much, because nobody knows. You get to point your finger at the players, because hey - every penny they make, or ask for, is made public. Consider yourself fortunate to EVEN HAVE A SHOT at Strasburg. Because you ain't gonna see him again. Not in DC.

Posted by: Brue | August 15, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

EdDC,

I'm done with you. Soriano? (Not a FA but paid him 10M and offered him a 50M contract) They put in a HUGE bid for Tex. They signed Dunn. Who exactly would you like them to sign? Again FA complete the missing pieces. You don't sign a FA to an expensive 2 year deal to trade him away. They have no payroll because what are one or two high priced FA's going to do for this team? FA right now do nothing for a decimated farm system they inherited. The farm system is getting better. FACT: Jumped from 30 to 9th in 2008. This years draft was pitcher heavy. Stockpiling arms is never a bad thing. I will trust Rizzo's ability to get great talent as he is HIGHLY regarded by almost all in this game. Especially since his evaluation is what got this team Nyjer and to less extent Burnett. I will tell you the payroll will increase as these players start hitting the majors, the team begins to play good ball and THEN you will see the FA acquisitions come in mid year to put the pieces together for a WINNING team.

Posted by: jkraeg | August 15, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

They ought to sign him, at any cost, and then trade him for guys who will upgrade the team at other positions. I believe we have enough young pitchers on hand or in the minors.

Posted by: sanfordflg | August 15, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

They ought to sign him, at any cost, and then trade him for guys who will upgrade the team at other positions. I believe we have enough young pitchers on hand or in the minors.

Posted by: sanfordflg | August 15, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

jkraeg...I hope they finalize a deal with Rizzo. I think the team has made an about face with the R & R combo thusfar. I'm reading about two others in the hunt for that position though. Further, hopefully Riggs pans out for the permanent managerial job as he seems to have the pulse of the players to this point. The Lerners are new at this, I think (hope) they'll figure it out eventually.

Posted by: cokedispatch | August 15, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Heck, I hope as a fan I can figure it out eventually.

Posted by: cokedispatch | August 15, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

fkraeg,

At least get your facts straight.

Soriano was pre-Lerners. Soriano, who yielded two very high draft picks when he signed with the Cubs, is exactly what you should do in making trades. In contrast, Josh Willingham is the biggest money guy the Nats' GMs have ever been allowed to trade for under the Lerners, at $2.95 million. The Nats should do more of not only Willingham-type trades, but Soriano-type trades. Open up a little.

In fact, that's a great way to help build your farm system, by trading FAs and guys of value you get in trade for prospects. The bargain basement trades are good too, like Nyger Morgan-Burnett, but try some of the other kind of trades that cost you money too.

You say the farm system is getting better and jumped up to 9th in 2008. That's a good thing, but the next year's ranking in 2009 dropped them back into the 20s. As to almost landing Mark Teixeira: my DC lottery ticket was only off a couple digits. Does that mean I am rich? don't forget that the Nats "almost" signed last year's #1 pick too, falling just $500K short.

I'm glad you feel the Lerners are extending themselves for DC and this region. You see it. I don't. Sue me.

Posted by: EdDC | August 15, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Cokedish,

Agreed. This is my point. They made mistakes but I truly believe they want a winning team in this town. They are billionaires for a reason. They know how to be successful in any business situation. So ill give them a pass for the past mistakes. If they sign Rizzo, which I think they should, it will be another sign that they see the positive strides this team has made since in Rizz's control. I completely agree that this club has done a 180 since Rizzo has been at the helm. From what i have read there are mixed reports as two who is the leading candidate, ive read the Arizona guy is leading and other places say that it's almost certain that Rizzo will be selected and that these interviews are simply due diligence. I woulnt be upset if they kept Riggs. I just want to see how he finishes out the season. If he continues the way he has been going I say let him have it.

Posted by: jkraeg | August 15, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Sign the guy, but have a deal in place to trade him for the Box, Yanks, Phils or whoever wants to trade 4 or 5 prospects for him. Have in the contract a 10 Million dollar bonus for 10th major league appearence and trade him after 9. That way Borass can say he got some huge bonus and let someone else pay it.

Posted by: RichC3 | August 15, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

jkraeg,

The Lerner's sure have you snowed. 59-102 last year and currently on pace at 41-75 to another 100 loss season. You're right the future so bright you gotta wear shades.

Please allow me to bore you with some facts.

The Lerner's teams have been bottom 5 in payroll every year so far.

They failed to sign their 1st round pick last year and appear to be on the road to not signing their 1st round pick this year.

They routinely draft for signability rather than talent level.

They are bascially a non-factor in the international market. The few signings they have made recently are on no ones radar as a top international prospect.

They are pushing their talented young pitchers to the big leagues before they are truly ready because they refuse to spend the money it would take sign a high priced FA starter or two.

Guzzle the Kool-Aid, I've got no problem with that. But, while you're doing that please at least look at the facts and save us all with the anger filled, naming calling posts.

Posted by: Section505203 | August 15, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Boras will make them sweat til the last minute... then he will be signed for over $20 million, if he wants to play for the Nats... I'm not sold that Strasburg wants to play for them considering San Diego could take him next year if they end up with the 2nd worst record.

Posted by: tony325 | August 15, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

You can't trade a signed draft choice for one year after they are signed.

Posted by: WashOut | August 15, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Section502,

Again read the posts. Im not disputing the fact that this team has been terrible. Or even that its low payroll. Failed to sign Crow last year....look at Crow now. Still not signed. I believe that speaks for itself. Who is to say they will not sign SS this year? Nobody will know until the deadline passes. As for the rests of your points.....seem to be all GM responsibilities to me. And before i get the "and you want Rizzo to be GM" response, the draft ill let Rizzo do his job and evaluate the talent. Again it is a FACT that he is one of the most respected scouts in the game. The international signings, what did you expect them to do seeing as they entirely tore down and re-built the Latin American operations not more than 6 months ago. Rushing the arms? Who did you want pitching this year Orlando Cabrara?! Really? I am assuming your bringing this up because of the Zimm injury. As it is really a shot in the pills it happens all the time. Kid was ready for the big's he should have been pitching here. If you want to call it Kool-Aid ill drink the cool-aid you and EdDC can be bitter and complain amongst yourselves.

Posted by: jkraeg | August 15, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Interesting article:

http://joeposnanski.com/JoeBlog/2009/05/12/the-curious-case-of-matt-harrington/

Posted by: Vze2sr66 | August 15, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

If this guy turns is nose up at this offer I think the NATS should move on. As a FAN I feel the ownership made a great offer.

Posted by: LongTimeSkinsFan | August 15, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Yes, it's true. BTW, he will not be using an airplane.

---

Any truth that Wille Harris is flying to San Diego to wrap up these SS negotiations. Willie gets id done.

Posted by: cokedispatch | August 15, 2009 3:19 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 15, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Actually, this might be the strategy that works for the Nationals. Steven Strasburg, as rich as his contract and good as he is, won't save the team on his own.

Consider how easily they signed the #10 pick. There's one piece (possible future closer?). Ok, on SS. They don't sign him and he goes to Indie ball for the year... and since the Nats "can't" sign him, he drops to #3 - and there IS a slotting system in baseball (that's what Boras hates). So, SS is a year older, a chance of an injury in Indie ball, and has about a 0% chance of being in the majors anywhere before Spring 2011 - no team in their right mind would bring him up that quickly after drafting him. Meanwhile, the Nats can say they tried to sign SS, draft a cheaper "stud" pitcher and a position player next year... probably for less than the cost of Strasburg (they did have to draft SS in June, like it or not). How would we all react if Strasburg signed for $50 million and pulled a Jordan Zimmerman?

Posted by: ajr32 | August 15, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

SCock BoorASS is a cockroach. Someone ought to stick a pipe bomb up his poop chute, light the fuse, and sit back and watch the ensuing hijinks and hilarity.

Posted by: VeloStrummer | August 15, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

How interesting that the Strasburg deadline approaching is causing all these wackos who never post here to come out of the woodwork. Just imagine how many fans Strasburg will draw to Nats Park on nights he is starting. Along with needing guys with the potential to be real dominant stars, the Nats need some buzz. They need to get it done.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | August 15, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Looking forward to the time when wackos are coming out of the woodwork at Nats Park. Yay!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 15, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Or wackos who aren't opposing fans, at any rate. :-D

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 15, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

who cares? it's baseball

Posted by: CBT2 | August 15, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of baseball, lineups are up.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 15, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

As much as I want Strasburg to sign, and I believe the Nats absolutely need him to sign, if he doesn't I can't blame the Lerners because they did make a record breaking offer.

The Nats though simply cannot have this keep going on. You cannot fail to sign your #1 pick for two years straight. It's quite clear no good free agent is going to want to come to Washington in the offseason because the team isn't ready to win yet. The Nats don't have any good position player prospects in the minors to speak of either.

Without Strasburg to draw people to the park next year, I see this organization becoming the post-strike Expos in a hurry.

For his part, Strasburg would be stupid to sign. He's not going to get a better deal next year when he'll be a lower draft pick I can't imagine the Nats not owning the #1 pick next year in addition to the #2 pick if Strasburg doesn't sign. So at best he'll be the #3 pick.

Hopefully this one will finally push the owners and the MLBPA into a slotting system in the next CBA. The MLBPA doesn't officially represent guys until after they sign, and if proposed in the right way, I think current players will go for a slotting system for rookies because they'll understand it's not fair for rookies who haven't done a thing in MLB to be making more than they are.

Posted by: CJMARTIN04 | August 15, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Baseball should have a slotting system just like the NBA and the NFL. This whole thing would have been over a long time ago. Bud Selig just doesnt get it.

Posted by: HightaxesMOCO | August 15, 2009 11:46 AM
===============================

It's not up to Bud. The MLBPA will have to agree on a slotting system in the next CBA, which unfortunately doesn't get re-done until 2011. So as a fan you can expect two more years of this kind of stupidity at least.

I think the MLBPA will go for a rookie slotting system, as long as the owners aren't stupid and try to tie it in with an overall salary cap. The players have never, and will never, go for a salary cap. What IMO they will agree on is to stop this stupid system where rookies who haven't done anything in MLB are better paid than veterans already in the majors.

Posted by: CJMARTIN04 | August 15, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Last time I checked, Crow hasn't signed this year either.

Posted by: Section314 | August 15, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

The truth is that WITHOUT SS the team is 30/35 games below .500 now. IF the team signs him and the team brings him up to the big's next year AND in his 1st year in the majors he WINS EVERY GAME HE STARTS in--say 25 starts--the team would STILL NOT BE A .500 club--so for the teams owners THEY still run a loosing team---MONEY OR NOT!!!! If they can't make make a deal and it comes out AND THE KID WAS OFFERED 20/25 mi. and Boras NO how in the world can you blame the owners. The culprits are Selig and the plaqyers union for messing up the bargining agteement that allows scum like Boras to ruin the sport. Your thoughts please.

Posted by: vergens2 | August 16, 2009 3:25 AM | Report abuse

Don't understand why he is offered more money than a teacher, fireman, policeman or someone in the military.

Posted by: boyn4884 | August 16, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

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