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Selig: Nats 'Did What They Had to Do' to Sign Strasburg

Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig characterized the Nationals' signing of pitcher Stephen Strasburg as "fair," though he appeared to do so grudgingly and acknowledged management's intention to pursue a hard "slotting" system for draftees in the next round of collective bargaining in 2011.

"I said at the All-Star Game that I had faith in the Lerners -- faith that they knew what they had to do," Selig said in a telephone interview Wednesday. "They did what they had to do [to sign Strasburg]."

Asked specifically about Strasburg's record-setting, $15.1 million contract with the Nationals, which was nearly 50 percent higher than the previous record, Selig said, "We live in an economic system where, if both sides think it's fair, then it's fair. I know it was a hard, tense, tough negtotiation, and it's good for baseball and good for the Washington club to have him signed. I'm happy for them, and I hope it works out."

Selig said he had not finished analyzing all the data from this year's signing period and thus was not prepared to characterize its impact on the sport. He had attempted to rein in spending this year by decreasing MLB's slot recommendations by 10 percent across the board, but those recommendations are frequently ignored, and this year's total spending by the 30 clubs was virtually identical to last year's -- about $160 million in rounds one through 10, according to Baseball America's database.

Baseball's current collective bargaining agreement expires in December 2011, and league officials have made clear their intention to negotiate a cap on draftee bonuses, similar to ones currently in use by the other major sports, in the next round of bargaining. Selig said MLB also would seek to subject international amateurs--who currently are recognized as free agents--to the draft. Both the cap and the "worldwide" draft have been discussed in previous CBA negotiations, but neither has survived to make it into the final agreement.

"There's no question in my mind, in 2011, certainly a [hard] slotting system and a worldwide draft are things we will be very aggressive in talking about," Selig said.

Incoming union chief Michael Weiner declined comment through a union spokesman, but several players in leadership positions within the union have also lobbied publicly for a cap on bonuses for draftees, an indication the union may soften its traditional stance against any type of cap on players' earnings.

By Dave Sheinin  |  August 19, 2009; 3:20 PM ET
 
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Next: More GM Talk, DL Updates and Lineups

Comments

You can actually Bud gritting his teeth in these quotes.

Posted by: gbooksdc | August 19, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

No, Cricks, I Entourage went from a guilty pleasure to just plain guilty for me. I've replaced it with Hung, which I find much better and nearly as satisfying of puerile interests.

Posted by: Section506 | August 19, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I watched the first two Eps of Hung Monday night also. Quality stuff. I still think Ari's character is hilarious though.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | August 19, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

The guys on MLBTR are a bit behind on the Rizzo story today. They just linked the KLaw comments and haven't added Chio's last post yet. I guess everyone's still suffering a bit of deadline day hangover.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | August 19, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

A lot of interesting commentary today ... me thinks Chico "sinks his teeth" into this kind of stuff.

Posted by: periculum | August 19, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

You can actually Bud gritting his teeth in these quotes.

Posted by: gbooksdc | August 19, 2009 3:28 PM

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

Bud "Light" Selig probably still has a dartboard with a picture of Curt Flood for a bullseye hidden in his basement.

Posted by: greggwiggins | August 19, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

I went to sleep at 9:30 p.m. on signing day and read all about it the next morning. I know, bo-ring.

Chico's stepping it up today.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 19, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Chico's probably pumped that he can write about something else besides yet another catchy phrase to describe a few hits and a bunch of outs.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 19, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Who cares what Selig thinks?

He is a shill for the Yankees and Dodgers, who want to admonish the Nationals for paying over a slot for a top prospect in the draft when the very same teams show absolutely NO restraint in driving up players' salaries in the offseason in free agency.

If a player is receiving bids of $10M to sign the Yankees will give him $15-$18M just to ensure they acquire him.

Meanwhile, Washington is supposed to sit there and let a guy walk away because of $5M in slotting money at the top of the draft?

Give me a break.

I don't like Al Davis much, but his approach to the NFL from the 1960's- 70's is what is needed in major league baseball to break up the oligopoly of 4-6 teams that have a stranglehold over the sport with dollars.

Posted by: leopard09 | August 19, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

OKAY, KINDLY PAY ATTENTION. HERE IS THE PRESSER ANNOUNCEMENT:

The Washington Nationals are announcing today that Jerry Dipoto has agreed to serve as General Manager of the Washington Nationals.

The Washington Nationals are announcing today that Mike Rizzo has been promoted to President of the Washington Nationals.

The Washington Nationals wish to thank Stan Kasten for his service to the Washington Nationals.

Scoop: To get (a) beat on a rival.

Deadline: A boundary in a prison that prisoners can cross only at the risk of being shot.

Posted by: nova_g_man | August 19, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Nova g, I have had the same suspicion for a while. Kasten's 'Proud Papa' line sealed it for me.

Posted by: GoNatsTerps | August 19, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

I don't see how Rizzo can be up in the air for one job that he has never had before and only partially qualified for at this point, and be given another job that he is wholly unqualified for instead to supervise someone who is also wholly unqualified for his job.

Nova G Man, didn't you dislike Manny's inexperience?

Posted by: Section506 | August 19, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Colorado is still in town. Where's the lineups? Is Belliard that troglodyte troll of a gargoyle in it?

Posted by: periculum | August 19, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

It .... was ..... a ..... joke.
*****************
I don't see how Rizzo can be up in the air for one job that he has never had before and only partially qualified for at this point, and be given another job that he is wholly unqualified for instead to supervise someone who is also wholly unqualified for his job.

Nova G Man, didn't you dislike Manny's inexperience?

Posted by: Section506 | August 19, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: nova_g_man | August 19, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

NTW, Brian Oliver sounds a tad like nova_g_man:

My initial feeling is the timing of this really could not be worse (assuming a decision is imminent). Rizzo was a key part of completing the biggest contract in draft history with Stephen Strasburg. Whether or not Rizzo is going to be the full-time GM moving forward, to make an announcement on the heels of the Strasburg negotiations is another example of how tone deaf this team can be in making decisions. Making the decision now (or within the next week or so) moves the story from the feel-good of Strasburg to “Why now?” of making such an important decision.

Before we can too far ahead of ourselves, Mark Zuckerman of the Washington Times posted the following which bears watching

The GM decision can’t really be made until Stan Kasten has decided whether to remain as team president or not. There haven’t been many rumors lately about Kasten’s potential departure, and certainly there’s reason to believe he’s going to stick around here a while longer. And if he stays, [a person who knows the Nationals front office well] believes, Rizzo likely gets the GM job. If Kasten were to leave, though, then whoever the new team president was would have to have the final say on a GM.

That being said, it is the Lerners responsibility to hire the person they believe can best move this franchise forward from here out. And as I have said on numerous occasions, whoever that choice is needs to be allowed to assemble their own staff from field manager to scouting to player development.

Posted by: periculum | August 19, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

The Nationals are likely to decide on a new general manager by the end of this week, sources told FOXSports.com on Wednesday. One person with direct knowledge of the search said nothing had been determined as of 2:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

http://tiny.cc/FJM7B

Posted by: GoNatsTerps | August 19, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Next to audition: Everts and Estrada.

Brian Oliver:
"RHP Marco Estrada was strong in his eight innings of work, allowing five hits and two walks while striking out six. RHP Clint Everts picked up the win with a scoreless ninth, allowing one hit and striking out one."

Posted by: periculum | August 19, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

What I would love see, actually, is a succession plan.

2009: Kasten-President, Rizzo-GM, DiPoto,Assistant-GM

2012: Rizzo-President, DiPoto-GM, n/a assistant GM.

Posted by: GoNatsTerps | August 19, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

"It .... was ..... a ..... joke."

Sad face!

Posted by: Section506 | August 19, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Courtesy of Brian Oliver NAF:

Danny Knobler, CBS Sports:


DiPoto expected to be named new Nats GM
Posted on: August 19, 2009 10:55 am
Edited on: August 19, 2009 2:04 pm

The Nationals appear to have chosen Diamondbacks executive Jerry DiPoto as their new general manager.

DiPoto has told friends in Arizona that he plans to accept the job, which opened when Jim Bowden resigned under pressure this spring. Mike Rizzo has been serving as acting general manager, and Rizzo was one of three final candidates for the job, along with DiPoto and Red Sox assistant Jed Hoyer, according to sources.

It's not certain how soon the Nationals intend to finalize their deal with DiPoto, or how soon he would be announced as the new GM.

"[DiPoto] will be a heck of a pick, but what hasn't [Rizzo] done to earn the opportunity to stay?" said one National League executive who knows both men.

The 41-year-old Dipoto, who pitched in the major leagues for eight seasons, has spent the last four years in the Diamondbacks front office, most recently as vice president, player personnel. He came close to getting the Mariners GM job last winter, apparently losing out after telling the M's he wanted to bring Pat Gillick in as a consultant.

"He has great people skills," said one person who knows DiPoto. "He has everything you look for in a manager of people. And he has a great feel for the game. He's a solid evaluator. He also has a charismatic personality that you just can't walk away from -- and it's real, unlike some in this game."

The Nationals decision was reported earlier by Yahoo Sports.

Posted by: periculum | August 19, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

lineups - from NatsTown blog:

Rockies:
Gonzalez - LF
Fowler - CF
Helton - 1B
Tulowitzki - SS
Hawpe - RF
Stewart - 3B
Barmes - 2B
Iannetta - C
Marquis - P (RHP, 13-8, 3.55)

Nationals:
Morgan - CF
Guzman - SS
Zimmerman - 3B
Dunn - 1B
Willingham - LF
Dukes - RF
Belliard - 2B
Bard - C
Balester - P (RHP, 1-2, 6.00)

Posted by: RicketyCricket | August 19, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

This from Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus:

You see all that young talent in Arizona? That was assembled during the watch of Mike Rizzo. Notice how the talent well has dried up a bit for the Diamondbacks? That’s no coincidence, either. The fact that Rizzo, one of the most respected men in the industry and one of the best evaluators of young players both within his own organization and others, has yet to be named the permanent general manager in Washington is laughable, and letting him go would potentially be as damaging to the organization as any player-related move.

Posted by: periculum | August 19, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Wow its the war of rumormongers.

Based on the Acta firing, I am guessing this will all be true...in a few months.

Posted by: GoNatsTerps | August 19, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Look how much Stan Kasten has learned from anonymous leaks to one source. For once, the Nats are playing some smart politics.

My money is on the "Assistant" being removed from Rizzo's title at the end of this week.

Posted by: Section506 | August 19, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

section506,

some appear to infer that he might be "bumped up" to president with dipoto replacing him?

Posted by: periculum | August 19, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Leopard,
I'm with you, man (or woman ;D). He's presiding over the ridiculousness of having major league teams that in essence serve as development teams for the "Big 6-10." Even stronger evidence beyond the Free Agency tiers of the big-market teams is when the worst teams, with higher draft picks, PASS on numerous players because they can't afford to (or choose not to, anyway) sign them.

What a joke the MLB has become in the "Haves" vs. the "Have Nots." Tough to feel sorry for the AngelOs and similar, but either make Pittsburgh/KC/Oakland farm teams or fix the revenue sharing/salary cap system.

Other than the Steroids Era, this will be the legacy of the Bud "Light" reign (along with Bud Light overtaking Coors Light as #1 selling beer, I guess)

------
Who cares what Selig thinks?

He is a shill for the Yankees and Dodgers, who want to admonish the Nationals for paying over a slot for a top prospect in the draft when the very same teams show absolutely NO restraint in driving up players' salaries in the offseason in free agency.

If a player is receiving bids of $10M to sign the Yankees will give him $15-$18M just to ensure they acquire him.

Meanwhile, Washington is supposed to sit there and let a guy walk away because of $5M in slotting money at the top of the draft?

Give me a break.

I don't like Al Davis much, but his approach to the NFL from the 1960's- 70's is what is needed in major league baseball to break up the oligopoly of 4-6 teams that have a stranglehold over the sport with dollars.

Posted by: leopard09 | August 19, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: mo_dc | August 19, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

see what you started, nova_g?

This is hilarious.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 19, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

In the end all that matters is that troll Belliard is batting seventh after Dukes and before Bard.

Posted by: periculum | August 19, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

@ Leopard/mo_dc or anyone else with an opinion:

Would Cadillac Bud have the same problem if NYY/LA/Bos (or the other 'beautiful people' of MLB) went over slot?

I'm guessing there is a huge interest in keeping these big market teams at the top and in the WS.

Posted by: TimDz | August 19, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Periculum: Thanks for that quote from BP. I was going to give my 2 cents, but Goldstein said it all!

Posted by: NickfromGermantown | August 19, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Dear Ronnie Belliard,

I hate you.

Te odio.

Posted by: NatsandSkinsareclassclassclass | August 19, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

My thoughts (and previous comments a few weeks ago) exactly!
--------

This from Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus:

You see all that young talent in Arizona? That was assembled during the watch of Mike Rizzo. Notice how the talent well has dried up a bit for the Diamondbacks? That’s no coincidence, either. The fact that Rizzo, one of the most respected men in the industry and one of the best evaluators of young players both within his own organization and others, has yet to be named the permanent general manager in Washington is laughable, and letting him go would potentially be as damaging to the organization as any player-related move.


Posted by: periculum | August 19, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: mo_dc | August 19, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

NEW PRESSER ANNOUNCEMENT.

KINDLY DISREGARD PREVIOUS PRESSER ANNOUNCEMENT.

The Washington Nationals are announcing today that Debbie Taylor has agreed to serve as General Manager of the Washington Nationals.

The Washington Nationals are announcing today that Rob Dibble has agreed to serve as President of the Washington Nationals.

The Washington Nationals wish to thank Stan Kasten for his service to the Washington Nationals.

The Washington Post is announcing today that Chico Harlan has been promoted to Food & Sports Editor of the Washington Post.

Scoop: To get (a) beat on a rival.

Deadline: A boundary in a prison that prisoners can cross only at the risk of being shot.

Posted by: nova_g_man | August 19, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

You mean to tell me they haven't released that bum Belliard yet? May the bellybashing continue.

Posted by: cokedispatch | August 19, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

PREGAME RUMOR MONGERING:

More sauce for nova_g_man's goose? Is Rizzo leaving even if Dipoto is coming? Is Kasten staying?

From the NAF blog:

Wally – Perhaps. Unless Rizzo is the one advocating for Dipoto. It just seems odd that the story comes out and there hasn’t been more of a response from the Nationals. They went through this earlier this year with Manny Acta and I think they waited too long to address the reports.

-- Brian Oliver

#25 by Cole - August 19th, 2009 at 17:30

One of the guys on the John Thompson show contacted the Nats. The Nats employee acknowledged that Dipoto is coming, but also said not to assume that Rizzo would be gone. He didn’t say what type of job Rizzo might be offered.

Posted by: periculum | August 19, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

NEW PRESSER ANNOUNCEMENT.

The Washington Nationals are announcing today that Ronnie Belliard has agreed to serve as President of the Washington Nationals.

The Washington Nationals wish to thank Stan Kasten for his service to the Washington Nationals.

The Washington Redskins are announcing today that Mark Lerner and the Lerner group have purchased the Washington Redskins from Daniel Snyder. The Lerner's wished to thank Mr. Snyder for his wonderful stewardship of the Redskins.

Posted by: periculum | August 19, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

So just by gathering all the info I've seen out there. I can only come up with this conclusion: DiPoto is on his way to DC and Rizzo should be getting some type of promotion because it would be really stupid on the Nationals part to fire Rizzo.

As much as we trash our Front Office, I really don't think they would be dumb enough to not reward Rizzo for the job he's done. I mean they can't be that dumb.............


.....Or can they?

Posted by: FloresFan | August 19, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

NEW PRESSER ANNOUNCEMENT.

The Washington Nationals are announcing today that Ronnie Belliard has agreed to serve as President of the Washington Nationals.

The Washington Nationals wish to thank Stan Kasten for his service to the Washington Nationals.

The Washington Redskins are announcing today that Mark Lerner and the Lerner group have purchased the Washington Redskins from Daniel Snyder. The Lerner's wished to thank Mr. Snyder for his wonderful stewardship of the Redskins.

Posted by: periculum | August 19, 2009 6:09 PM


I just died a little bit inside. That being said, god bless the day Mr. Snyder is no longer associated to the Washington Redskins.

Posted by: NatsandSkinsareclassclassclass | August 19, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

That being said, god bless the day Mr. Snyder is no longer associated to the Washington Redskins.

Posted by: NatsandSkinsareclassclassclass

^^^^^What he said^^^^^^


Posted by: FloresFan | August 19, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

I don't know whether we can come to any conclusions from the info that's out there, FloresFan, other than that there's a lot of info out there.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 19, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Time for the warm ups yet?

Posted by: periculum | August 19, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Chico, even knowing how much you love the intrigue of front office moves and international politics ...

No lineups?

Posted by: periculum | August 19, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

RB is chattering in the background of Dunn's latest blog. Wow. Just wow.

http://masnsports.com/2009/08/post-30.html

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 19, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

".....Or can they?"

NEW PRESSER ANNOUNCEMENT
The Washington Nationals are announcing today that Mike Rizzo has been relieved of his duties as General Manager, and that he was escorted from the team’s premises at gunpoint at 6:45 PM.

In an effort to shore up its international presence, the Washington Nationals are announcing today that Kim Jong-il, North Korean Dear Leader, has agreed to serve as Special Assistant to the Owner/ Head of Near and Far East Scouting. In his role as Special Assistant to Ted Lerner, Mr. Dear Leader’s efforts will be focused in the functional area of Evil.

(Psssst. Someone stop me. Out … of …. control)

Posted by: nova_g_man | August 19, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

NEW PRESSER ANNOUNCEMENT
The Washington Nationals are announcing today that Mike Rizzo has been relieved of his duties as General Manager. In a surprise announcement William Jefferson Clinton was named as the new General Manager of the Nationals. This unexpected announcement followed on the heals of the previously unknown announcement that Bill was actually responsible for the signing of Steve Strasburg. In announcing this Stan Kasten said, "Bill could sell the Brooklyn Bridge to Ayotollah Khomeini or even Bin Laden, Bill's personality and charisma are exactly what this team needs."

Posted by: periculum | August 19, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Thanks 1a; was fun watching it. What a PITA Ronnie Belliard is! Did you hear the name of the questioner on Mcelroy's Blackberry? Meg ..... NatMeg.
******************************
RB is chattering in the background of Dunn's latest blog. Wow. Just wow.

http://masnsports.com/2009/08/post-30.html

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 19, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: nova_g_man | August 19, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

It is true that there are too many franchises that can't afford to do more than be a development team for the big-money teams. It is a problem that needs serious attention and can only be solved by serious revenue sharing so long as each team is free to cut its own cable TV deal, which creates a revenue imbalance that NFL teams do not experience.

But baseball fans should remember that, even before cable TV, the absence of an amateur draft and other factors made the situation even less competitive. No team has dominated either league the way the Yankees dominated the American League from 1921 through 1964. And both leagues had their share of perennial second-division teams; why, one of them played in this very city.

So let's not just blame Bud for this problem. Baseball has a very, very long history of refusing to acknowledge the lack of parity and competitiveness in too many of its franchises. As long as attendance and revenues remain strong, however, little if anything will be done.

There are a few reasons to hope that change may come soon:

1. Now that virtually every city has constructed (or is in the midst of contructing) a new stadium, this can no longer be offered as the panacea for lagging fan interest. A competitive team must be fielded.

2. Now that baseball has expanded to every city remotely of sustaining it, and the threat of moving to DC has been taken off the board, and the threat of contracting has also been revealed as a chimera, baseball has fewer alternatives to dealing with this problem.

3. The growth of Internet streaming and multi-game deals on cable and satellite systems may, over time, reduce the value of clubs' individual cable deals and shift more revenue directly to MLB rather than individual teams. This will make NFL-style parity a little easier to strive for.

Will it happen? We'll see.

Posted by: Meridian1 | August 19, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

You're welcome, nova_g (and you are on a roll). I liked the NatMeg moniker. Now I want eggnog for some reason.

Also, there is a new post. No, really.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 19, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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