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Final Day, Final Hours

Aug.17. Welcome. This is one of those dates that we've all awaited for quite some time now. Stephen Strasburg Deadline Day is the baseball human equivalent of the iPhone launch and the "Star Wars" premiere and, heck, we might as well throw Christmas onto the list, too -- though Christmas never ends without presents. Except maybe at the Scott Boras household.

We've known for quite some time this day was coming. I still remember the final weeks of the 2008 season, as the Nats ably jostled for the league's worst record. I even remember then-GM Jim Bowden sitting in the dugout one day talking about how he wanted the league's worst record, because he wanted a particular pitcher named Stephen Strasburg.

Think about this. Because college baseball is obscure (but for a week or two when teams heads to Omaha and ESPN pays attention), and because high school baseball attracts interest from only parents and scouts, the average list of drafted players is, with few exceptions, anonymous. Even a stud -- a first-round pick -- is generally unknown to fans until the minute he's drafted. How many in NatsTown, for instance, knew of Aaron Crow in May 2008?

But Strasburg, he's been the most famous quasi-component of the Washington Nationals for almost a year now. We have observed every second of his junior year at college. We have enough material for a full "ESPN SportsCentury" special, full with retrospective I-knew-him-when interviews and grainy, sepia-toned footage of the innocent early times.

Just one random quote from way back when:

Bowden, speaking in front of hundreds of fans at the team's late-January fanfest: "Well, you never get it done as quickly as possible when Scott Boras is the agent, but that being said, yeah, it's phenomenal to sit here picking 1-1 because you know you can get a game-changer. Just like when Tampa Bay took David Price. Strasburg, if he stays healthy, is as good a pitcher as we've seen in the draft in 10 or 15 years. Our people saw him pitch two days ago. Every pitch was 98 to 100 mph throughout the game. He's got great size, a great breaking ball, great change-up. He's a pure No. 1 by 12 of our scouts."

So now, we have deadline day. Strasburg must make up his mind. Most who read the tea leaves believe a deal will get done. At least one who knows Strasburg hopes a deal will get done. My advice for the day: Don't worry too much about what gets said, if anything, anytime before 8 p.m. I've talked to execs who've tried to sign Boras players in previous years, and several have shared the story: Until the final, frantic hours, there's just no freakin' way to know what will happen. Boras has an extensive history of creative tactics with amateurs and down-to-the-wire negotiating. Both sides have their leverage points -- to an extent.

But both sides also have plenty to lose, which is why I think Strasburg signs at the last minute. That's just a guess, nothing more.

Stay tuned.

By Chico Harlan  |  August 17, 2009; 8:26 AM ET
 
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Comments

Jim Bowden in the dugout, as much as telling his players to tank games -- why am I not surprised?

Posted by: Hendo1 | August 17, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

I think the Nats need to limit their commitment to SS: maybe $16 to 18M. Much more and the system will start to increase costs to such a degree that most fans will be hard pressed to go to more than a few games a year! Maybe that's the future..? If the Nats make a solid, good-faith offer and Boras/SS turn it down - so be it; it won't affect my judgement of the Nats...they have many other ways to lose my support!

Posted by: Bill-CH | August 17, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

stephen who?

Posted by: sect104 | August 17, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the advice. I think I'll take it. In fact, I've been considering an entire baseball blackout until I wake up tomorrow.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 17, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Hey Gang....well, whatever the results are of the attempt to bring Stras into the fold, there was a nice piece in the Sunday NYTimes Sports about the signing of Ken Griffey jr....and about the pitcher the owner preferred who is now the bullpen coach of the Yankees. While no "arm of the century", he too was gonna be an ace. And I forget his name because....injuries, arm trouble,.......It's a nice reminder of the risks involved
I sure hope we sign him!
Go Nats.........

Posted by: zendo | August 17, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

If Nats offer him 16 to 18 mil then they have done the part. If he chooses not to sign that deal I don't think fans should be upset with Nats org. You can't give an unproven pitcher anymore than that the numbers say he doesn't have that great of a chance to be great. Take next years #'s 1 and 2 picks and be happy we on the up swing here.

Posted by: wstclair | August 17, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Dibble had it right (see this - http://masnsports.com/2009/08/a-message-for-stephen-strasbur.html), if a record setting contract isn't good enough for him, he can have fun playing independent ball and getting nubs.

Posted by: Kavorka | August 17, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

hey Gang....yea Bill-CH: I'm right there with you. Maybe even up to 20. But how many of us wouldn't be content to earn that figure in a LIFETIME of work?
C'mon, kid...
Of course my worry is that the "record offer" touted by Kasten and the Nats' brass is for , oh,,,10.6 million.
Go Nats...

Posted by: zendo | August 17, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

he doesn't want to play in DC....west coast kid who wants to stay on the west coast....San Diego will get him next year for 1/3 of the money, and he will be fine with it...he doesn't want to come east and play for the Nationals, otherwise, he would have signed already....minor league seasons are almost over, he hasn't pitched in what - 2 months - he's waiting on next year.

Posted by: outrbnksm | August 17, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

At least 1 report has put the Nats offer at $17 mill guaranteed, with incentives going over $20mill. Those of you in the $16-18mill-should-be-enough camp, the Nats (maybe) have done enough.

I think SS would be crazy to turn down this offer (if its true), but I don't think it's enough to judge the Nats blameless if he walks away. The Nats knew what the hype was, they knew they were dealing with a Boras client and they knew the numbers he was throwing out there before draft day. If they were not ready to put $20mill guaranteed (plus possible incentives) or more on the table, they should have skipped SS and taken Dustin Ackley (who also happens to play a position of need for the Nats), or one of the other talented pitchers from this draft who could have been signed for something within the Nats comfort range. Yes, SS is the best talent. But the reality of the draft, as it's currently constructed, is that you have to be willing to pay for the best talent too. This is a harsh lesson they should have learned last year. If the Nats were not ready to do that, they should have looked into the second-best talent that they would be willing to pay. IMHO.

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | August 17, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Come on, if the Nats offered him $10,500,001+ they have done their part in this economy. Anything close to $15,000,000 can get you a proven Free Agent pitcher.

I think the kid signs. They won't take a chance for San Diego having the 2nd worst record next year as if it ends up Kansas City or Pittsburgh, the kid is doomed!

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | August 17, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Chico wrote....But both sides also have plenty to lose....
++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I think the player has way more to lose when a fair slotting offer is made because they lose 1 whole year of their MLB life and the MLB team gets a compensatory pick the following year.

Aaron Crow put himself in a situation worse than last year. Can he really walk away again?

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | August 17, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Ackley hasn't been signed yet either. As far as I know, none of Boras' clients have been signed. As for Crowe, he still remains unsigned with the KC Royals!

How can Boras go to the last minute with 6 different guys?! I've heard of multitasking but that's rediculous.

Both Boras and his subjects should get real in that he has no business trying to raise the bar on Slot salaries in THIS ECONOMY! Sign. He'll get what he wants in incentives or after he has proven himself!

Posted by: CALSGR8 | August 17, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

hey - This is what I dont understand, solid pitchers such as:

Peavy (10th rd)
THansen (22nd rd)
Latos (10th rd)

Heck even JZimm (2nd rd) all didnt even come close to 15M when they were drafted.

Is Strasburg THAT much better than these guys above?

...i applaud the Lerners if they let him walk.

Posted by: Nats1924 | August 17, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

The world doesn't end if Strasburg doesn't sign. As a matter of fact, I would have put a dead line a week ago and with each passing day I would have reduced the offer by $500,000. It's to bad that these gutless owners don't get together and bring this agent into line. It wouldn't take long before his potential clients would see that his greed was costing them.

Posted by: pstotts15 | August 17, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

SS should have read the book "A Well Paid Slave", about Curt Flood's efforts to break baseball's reserve clause. Flood's efforts -- he lost his case in the Supreme Court -- were crucial to winning free agency, but Flood destroyed his career and his health in the process.

Take the money and run, kid. Future collective bargaining agreements are going to be even more restrictive.

Posted by: JeffDC2004 | August 17, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

My advice as a fan...don't waste the money on an uproven arm. Keep it and spend it on FAs. At least you KNOW what you're getting. He's NOT worth $10M.

Posted by: bundy44 | August 17, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Looking at the risks and rewards, the scale seems to come down in favor of signing him for over $20 mil and looking around for a trade partner... he might never pitch for the Nats, but he could bring two solid young position players or several young pitchers.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 17, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

(but for a week or two when teams heads to Omaha and ESPN pays attention)

Oh, you mean the week that Strasburg lost to UVa?

Yeah, I'm already bad-mouthing him in case tonight turns into a disaster ;-)

Posted by: Kev29 | August 17, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

The world does not end if we do not sign Strasburg...that is true, but if we do not sign him then he joins the list of Crowe and lest we forget Sean Black as high picks the Nats have not been able to sign. The Nats will get the semi-erronous rep amongst agents that they do not sign high picks to high $$$ contracts which does not bode well for the organization as a whole because Stan's plan is to build through the draft...isn't it???

Posted by: markfd | August 17, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Stephen who? Come on, midnight!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 17, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

he doesn't want to play in DC....west coast kid who wants to stay on the west coast....San Diego will get him next year for 1/3 of the money, and he will be fine with it...he doesn't want to come east and play for the Nationals, otherwise, he would have signed already....minor league seasons are almost over, he hasn't pitched in what - 2 months - he's waiting on next year.

Posted by: outrbnksm
_________________________________

This is hilarious. This is the same kid threatening to go 1/2 way around the world where the language is Japanese! Every time you hear a guy wanting to play near home is great in theory. How bad did Teixeira dupe everyone on his wanting to be close to Annapolis. WHAT A CROCK of SH-T that is.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | August 17, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Look, if the kid really, truly doesn't want to play in Washington, and he really, truly would take less money next year to play in San Diego, then what difference is an extra $5 million going to make?

Teixeira was offered more money by the Nats than by the Yankees, but Tex really, truly wanted to play in NY, so in the end it didn't matter.

It's all up to Strasburg. I think this blaming the Nats for not increasing a possibly-soon-to-be-rejected offer to an astronomical figure is silly. If he wants to play professional baseball for a record amount of money, it's on the table. If he doesn't, it won't matter how much he leaves on the table.

Everybody needs to think about this before castigating the Lerners tomorrow, if this deal doesn't go through.

Posted by: shepdave2003 | August 17, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

yea i think we are swinging the other way too far now. we want strasburg. he's gonna be awesome and everyone will be friends when he's on the team.

from all accounts i've read he's smart and humble. that's why they have agents. to take care of the business side.

Posted by: longterm | August 17, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

And GGG, the example I gave with Teixeira is sort of the converse of the Strasburg thing. I'm referring to the guy playing where he wants to in spite of the money offered--not playing at home necessarily.

In other words, you and I agree.

Posted by: shepdave2003 | August 17, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Zimm had it exactly right as quoted in Chico's article:

"If you're an organization that is going in the right direction and wants to get better, you have to sign No. 1 draft picks. You draft them for a reason, and I think it will be a very important day -- not just for the organization, but to gain credibility throughout the league."

The Plan is all about drafting, signing, and developing young talent. This needs to get done. As far as people advocating saving money and spending it on free agents instead--there's no reason there needs to be an either/or. Free agent pitchers can be a bust too, and they're usually much more expensive than even Strasburg would be. That doesn't mean you don't take the shot.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | August 17, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Everyone who thinks that Strasburg is a must sign, is wrong. If Strasburg doesn't sign, the Nationals are no worse off than before. Not only that, they will get the second pick next year. All the Nationals have to do is make a reasonable offer.

Those who think the Nationals have to do this are the ones who drive up the price of players who've never thrown or hit a professional pitch. The team has all the advantages in the draft. This fright of not signing players has led to two problems. First, it drives up the cost of unteseted players. Last, it gives all the advantage to the player, who should have none. If the team is reasonable, they shouldn't give in.

The best example of why they shouldn't give in, is last year's first pick. Aaron Crow didn't sign. The Nationals drafted and signed a better pitcher in Drew Storen. He's now pitching well at AA. He will probably be in the majors before Aaron Crow.

Aaron Crow is the big loser. He failed to sign with the Nationals, losing out on $3.6M he was offered. He still hasn't signed and is being offered $2M by the Royals. By holding out, he gave the Nationals a better pitcher, who will help the team sooner and he saved the team about $2M (over what Storen signed).

If the Nationals are reasonable (probably about $20M in a signing bonus), they have done all they should do. If Strasburg, via Boras, turn it down, they failed. To do anything else would kill a system that gives all the benefit to the team.

Posted by: jeffreyt211 | August 17, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

sweetjebusinheaven let this be over soon.

Can we just post links to any of the the discussions of the last, what, NINE OR TEN MONTHS? of Strasburg discussions. Think of the bandwidth we'd save!

Maybe we could just assign numbers to each of the seven or eight basic posts.

(Old joke: A group of regulars at a bar tell the same jokes all the time, so they develop a shorthand way to reference them, by assigning each joke a number.
Some once calls out, "28" and one guy bursts out in guffaws.
"Why is that guy laughing?"
"He never heard that one before."

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 17, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

If Strasburg should read anything, its the wikipedia entry for Matt Harrington.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matt_Harrington

Posted by: jeffreyt211 | August 17, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Hey - I read somewhere that John Heyman (SI.com) is on Boras's payroll...I now firmly believe this.

Check out his most recent article on Strasburg and Nats today on mlbtraderumors.com.

Great journalism there Heyman!

Posted by: Nats1924 | August 17, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Last year, the Nats let their #1 pick go over a difference of $500,000. What wise things did the Nats do with that money saved? The answer is nothing. The difference was in the order of a rounding error for most MLB clubs. The Nats' budgets were among MLB's lowest both before and after they told Crow to take a hike.

I think the deal this year will get done, so this is just a hypothetical question for all those trying to protect the Lerners' fortune. Suppose it comes down to a little more than your $16 to 18 million? You say "walk" and cheer when he does. What free agent could you get with that kind of money and for how long would you have him? How old would he be, having at least six years of service, and what are his tools? How will this FA help contend say four years from now? Can you get a dominant #1 for the money saved?

Posted by: EdDC | August 17, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

I think the most important thing today is that the Nationals win the PR battle. There have been precious few victories in that department since the Lerners took over... But today provides a good opportunity for them. And I think it's pretty simple - offer him a record shattering contract and be ready to tell the world what that number was.

Will people really slam the Nats if they come out and say, "we offered $18 million, nearly double Prior's record contract, Boras refused". Who would turn that down - all to pitch for the St. Paul Saints and risk injury and dull performances prior to next season's draft. A draft where he could end up trying to pry the same amount of money away from Kansas City or Pittsburgh (good luck with that, Boras) - while everyone's attention will be firmly on Bryce Harper. What's the point??

Posted by: Kev29 | August 17, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Dave Sheinen may be the most wrong person of all, in all of this. On XM this morning, he stated that if the Nationals weren't certain they could sign Strasburg, they shouldn't have drafted him.

Absolutely, positively wrong. The purpose of the draft is to allow the worst teams first access to the best players. To draft a signable pick defeats that purpose and allows teams like the Yankees to get draft picks, which will do nothing but drive up the cost of the future draft picks.

Posted by: jeffreyt211 | August 17, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

It's to bad that these gutless owners don't get together and bring this agent into line. It wouldn't take long before his potential clients would see that his greed was costing them.

Posted by: pstotts15 | August 17, 2009 9:55 AM

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

pstotts15, google "MLB collusion".

Baseball's owners have tried that before and in November 1990 it cost them more than a quarter of a billion dollars. And this was in an out of court settlement. If it had gone to trial or arbitration that number would probably have been larger.

Posted by: greggwiggins | August 17, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone know or remember the "Sean Black" that markfld was referring to?

Sec 204 Row H Seat 4

Posted by: adhardwick | August 17, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

This is all just a Scott Boras game. This deal will get done. It will get done about 11:59:59 and it will be done for about $20M.

Posted by: jeffreyt211 | August 17, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

>The purpose of the draft is to allow the worst teams first access to the best players. To draft a signable pick defeats that purpose and allows teams like the Yankees to get draft picks, which will do nothing but drive up the cost of the future draft picks.

Posted by: jeffreyt211

Hate to tell ya, but Strasburg isn't gonna fall to the Yanks slot. What he's probably referring to is that fact that signing Strasburg will take an effort different than any other draftee to this point. So, they have to be clear with themselves that they are willing to pay more than he's a) worth or b) more than they would want to pay. This situation has its own category. They can't use slot pay as an excuse for not signing him like they did with Crow last year, because it doesn't apply.

Posted by: Brue | August 17, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

One of the pleasant things about this whole too-long process has been the Nats early declaration of "We won't negotiate in the media." So except for a brief flareup about a month ago, planted by the Boras camp no doubt, we have been spared the weekly salvoes from each side, declaring the other guys villians. That said, it sure would be nice to get the deal done tonight!

Posted by: FairfaxDave | August 17, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

All - I agree with "jeffreyt211". We did the right thing by drafting SS.

Too bad we can't trade his rights for a couple of future mid first rounders. kinda like the nfl.

Posted by: Nats1924 | August 17, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

>If the Nationals are reasonable (probably about $20M in a signing bonus), they have done all they should do. If Strasburg, via Boras, turn it down, they failed. To do anything else would kill a system that gives all the benefit to the team.

Posted by: jeffreyt211

What's the difference between 20 mill and 25 mill in the scheme of things? Nothing. If Bud Selig and the owners don't want to pay big bonuses, then all they have to do is institute a slot system that holds up to legal challenges (like the NBA) and eliminate the possibility. They're a monopoly. Or haven't you heard?

Posted by: Brue | August 17, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

We're only 4 games out of worse place, thanks to the Pirates' fire sale. I'm part of a group of 8 that has 2 seats. It used to be 10, but higher prices and bad baseball reduced our ranks. While Strasburg may not be the second coming, signing him would provide a glimmer of hope for what is turning out to be a truly bad franchise.

p.s. I'm sick of Dibble

Posted by: mikeinburtonsville1 | August 17, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I think the only real difference Brue is the you bottom line in these negotiations is the jump off point for your next set.

Posted by: soundbloke | August 17, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Dear Steven Strasburg,

Work quickly, throw strikes.

Thanks,

Posted by: ihatewalks | August 17, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

A tweetie bird told me that the Lerners tried to get a cut of the Pope's holy water profit and we denied. I'm not religious really, but that's gotta bring bad karma.

Posted by: dclifer97 | August 17, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Everyone relax. $tra$burg will sign with the Nats. Boras doesn't sign his top players until just before the midnight deadline. Happens every year and will happen again this year.

Boras' other top draftees will sign as well. In fact, these two have probably already signed, but agreed not to announce them so that the deals won't affect the $tra$burg deal.

I also believe that the decision not to sign right now is not $ra$burg's. It's Boras' decision on whether to sign or not up til about 9pm, at which point $tra$burg will make the final decision.

Also, I feel that the money isn't the main sticking point in the deal ... it's the number of years. The lower number of years, the sooner he gets to arbitration. So, is it better for him to sign a 3 year/$15M contract or a 6 year/$30M contract? Both average $5M per year, but the first gets him to arb quicker.

Finally, everyone please stop bashing $tra$burg's performance against the Wahoos. He pitched 7 innings, gave up 2 runs on 8 hits, walked none and struck out 15! I'd take that night in and night out ...

Posted by: erocks33 | August 17, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Trade the draft pick?! Why didn't anybody think of that before?

**********
Too bad we can't trade his rights for a couple of future mid first rounders. kinda like the nfl.
Posted by: Nats1924 | August 17, 2009 10:33 AM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 17, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Seventh-round pick for the Yankees. Was a 2nd round pick out of HS in 2006, but didn't sign, went to Seton Hall.

*********
Does anyone know or remember the "Sean Black" that markfld was referring to?
Sec 204 Row H Seat 4
Posted by: adhardwick | August 17, 2009 10:28 AM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 17, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

This is one of those cases, where both sides have too much to lose to not get this deal completed.

But for those of you who think that not signing Strasburg is OK, you guys are crazy. If the Nats weren't going to pay him what he wants, they should not have drafted him. Next year's pick is not as good as this year's pick - you draft a guy, sign the guy and then get his development moving. Losing the year is a big deal.

Storen may end up being the better prospect than Crow - but that's Crow's fault for not signing. He passed on valuable development time and he and his agent's miscalculated the Indy ball route. KC has all the leverage now and can wait until next year's draft (minus 1 week) before losing his rights. The Nats - as an organization - would have been better off if Crow had signed and had a year of development by now; he might even be inthe majors by now.

Posted by: comish4lif | August 17, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Let us not forget: his own coach, MLB HOF'er Tony Gwynn said he needed some more seasoning. But Tony also never stood in against him! What's my point? ... this is almost a lose-lose. Don't sign him, and fans will revolt (2 #1 pitchers not signed??). Sign him to a mega deal and if he doesn't win 18 games next year, he'll be a flop.
I'm glad I get to b*tch at the outcome instead of decide it!

Posted by: jwm1974 | August 17, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

and yes, I know: the Lerners weren't doing the drafting in 2006. Tell Mark.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 17, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I have to stop checking this blog and MLBTradeRumors.com....Must be productive at work....Clearly my will power is losing this battle

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | August 17, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Everyone has an opinion... and that's all they are.

In my opinion, the ONLY way that the Nats win the PR battle, is by signing Strasburg. Anything else is a failure by the front office.

And I agree with Sheinen, if the Nats don't sign Strasburg then they shouldn't have drafted him. Nothing that he's asked for, nothing that his agent has done has surprised me. The Nats have no choice but to get this deal done.

Posted by: comish4lif | August 17, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Do we have a pool going? I figure the deal will be $20 mil, split somehow between signing bonus and incentives, with insurance policy paid for by the Nats.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | August 17, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Right. But wringing our hands about this deal before is 11:45pm is pointless. We've a better chance of signing Hanley Ramirez before 11:45 than Stephen Strasburg...

Posted by: soundbloke | August 17, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

And with that I am going to run errands and go to work and NOT PAY ATTENTION until this is over.

Posted by: Nats_Lady | August 17, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I don't think so. For one thing: what fans? They're making a living off Philly, NY, Boston, and Chicago fans as it is, and they won't stop coming. For another, if the team is winning (and I think .500 and wild-card contention into Sept, as in 2005, would do) the tickets will sell. If it's losing, even with Strasburg, they could bring Shoeless Joe Jackson out of the cherry trees in left and not get 20,000 a game.
**********
Don't sign him, and fans will revolt (2 #1 pitchers not signed??).
Posted by: jwm1974 | August 17, 2009 10:46 AM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 17, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

If the 17-20 mill is correct and stras does not sign, Boras will be exiled from baseball. This would set an unhealthy precedent for future drafts and will come back to bite the players in the next bargaining agreement. This is what we expect from the Nats and they have delivered.

Posted by: Tom8 | August 17, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I think we'll get it done, but for that kind of money the Nats can overpay for a proven ace like John Lackey in free agency next year.

What MLB teams need to do is boycott Boras and any and all of his clients. If all three top picks go unsigned, no high draftee will ever sign with him again.

Posted by: InTheCheapSeats | August 17, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Mark my words...

If the Nats don't ink Strasburg, season tickets equivalents drop to below 10,000.

Posted by: comish4lif | August 17, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

@soundbloke: "We've a better chance of signing Hanley Ramirez before 11:45 than Stephen Strasburg..."

What?!? What did you hear about Ramirez? Does he want to play in Washington? Can we trade our draft pick to the Marlins for Hanley?

(Just trying to toss a few more ridiculous and completely made-up rumors into the morning's discussions.)

Posted by: shepdave2003 | August 17, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse


if strasburg just finished his junior season, can he just go back to school for another year? why is this not listed as an option for him? It seems better than playing in an independent league.

Posted by: apeirond | August 17, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

If fans boycott this team for not signing him they are fools. By the sound of the offer the Lerners have done more than enough to reasonably expect him to sign.

Posted by: soundbloke | August 17, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

"What MLB teams need to do is boycott Boras and any and all of his clients.
Posted by: InTheCheapSeats"
-------------------
This has been brought up once already in the comments of this blog post:

"pstotts15, google "MLB collusion.

Baseball's owners have tried that before and in November 1990 it cost them more than a quarter of a billion dollars. And this was in an out of court settlement. If it had gone to trial or arbitration that number would probably have been larger.

Posted by: greggwiggins "

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | August 17, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I'm such a sucker! I keep checking back here knowing full well nothing's happening for another 12.75 hours.

I'm gonna try and see a movie tonight or something, then vow to go straight to bed afterwards.

I HATE suspense.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 17, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Mark my words...

If the Nats don't ink Strasburg, season tickets equivalents drop to below 10,000.

Posted by: comish4lif

++++++++++++

And with all due respect, comish, you're full of it. We survived Crow and we'll survive Strasburg if it doesn't happen.

But my money's on him signing anyway.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 17, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Hey Gang...on a tangent here, but I just finished a terrific book called "Bottom of the Ninth".The book details the attempts by Branch Rickey (and others)to create a new league to save baseball from itself by making all T.V. revenues "national" and to be shared equally by all teams-thereby reducing the dominance of the wealthy few and enabling fans of "small-market" teams to feel as if they had a relatively fair shot at competing on a level monetary playing field. Can anyone say "NFL"? I mention it because...less we forget in our animosity towards greed and Boras....that through this glorious games' history, the owners have been real real....well. self-interested would be a kind way of putting it. WHATEVER the merits or attributes of a Boras, he is the creation of short-sighted moguls who, in their fear and greed, created the very thing that they were trying to avoid.
So now, with the diva-like behavior of many stars(though blessedly less in baseball), the outlandish greed of some of them and their agents(easier to focus on then than the more hidden and broader greed of the owners), and of course, the thoroughly disreputable avoidance of the whole steroid thing by the union....well, the book is a nice reminder that however distasteful a Boras and his ilk may be, he's the CONSEQUENCE, not the CAUSE of this fiasco.
That said...I'd still like to strangle him...and Stephen:lets get real here, kid....all of us on this forum would LOVE for the Post to say "Gee, I like your posts-we wanna hire you to write for the paper- for some exorbitant sum- even though you've never done it or proven yourself.How much does Woodard or the rest of our stars make? We'll give you LOTS more, O.K.?
Crazy.....
Go Nats.......

Posted by: zendo | August 17, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

he doesn't want to play in DC....west coast kid who wants to stay on the west coast....San Diego will get him next year for 1/3 of the money, and he will be fine with it...he doesn't want to come east and play for the Nationals, otherwise, he would have signed already....minor league seasons are almost over, he hasn't pitched in what - 2 months - he's waiting on next year.

Posted by: outrbnksm | August 17, 2009 9:27 AM
================================

How hard did you try to ignore the facts to come up with this conspiracy theory!!?? Such an ignorant statement!!

Posted by: dkidwell61 | August 17, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

There is an argument of philosophies going on here. Boras is arguing that the unrestricted market value of Strasburg is much, much higher and therefore he should be compensated the same way. The Nationals are arguing that he is not, the slot system is a decent estimation of value.

The Nationals argument is a little hollow, since the draft system was created specifically to avoid paying market value on prospects, with the assumption that the market overvalues undeveloped talent.

Posted by: Section506 | August 17, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Baseball's owners have tried that before and in November 1990 it cost them more than a quarter of a billion dollars.

True, but that was to hold down salaries if I remember correctly, and I'm not sure anti-collusion law would apply if teams did this individually. Or, since baseball has its anti-turst exemption, couldn't the league just ban Boras?

Posted by: InTheCheapSeats | August 17, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

pstotts15 wrote: It's to bad that these gutless owners don't get together and bring this agent into line.

As CheapSeats just wrote, no, you can't do that. It's called collusion, and it's against the law. It's the one law that applies even to baseball owners, even our Uncle Teddy and Markie Mark.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | August 17, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Heh. Bowden says, "He's got great size, a great breaking ball, great change-up."

Meanwhile, just this past weekend, Boz says he doesn't have a change-up; what he has is "a home run in disguise."

One of them is spectacularly wrong.

Posted by: gilbertbp | August 17, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

I HATE suspense.

Posted by: NatsNut

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

...which would go a long way toward explaining why you're still a fan of the Nationals after the last couple of seasons.

;c)

Posted by: ihatewalks | August 17, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

If Strasburg doesnt sign, the Nats get the #2 overall pick next year as compensation right? So - there is a good chance they will have the #1 and 2 pick in the draft - in which case - Strasburg is the #3 pick at best and his stock does down. Or am I missing something?

Posted by: AlexVa1 | August 17, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

NatsNut says: "We survived Crow and we'll survive Strasburg if it doesn't happen. But my money's on him signing anyway."

I'm with you on thinking he will be signed. A guy with his talent won't just throw a year of his youth away just for the privilege of playing for Pittsburgh or KC! It's clearly not worth it.

But when you say we survived Crow and will survive SS, are you saying the games still will be played? Or are you saying the Nats will build for WS contention regardless of whether the Nats sign their top picks or not? If the latter is the case, maybe the Nats should just save their money, and sign some under-slot guy next year?

Naturally, I'm in favor of drafting and signing the most talented guys you can.

Posted by: EdDC | August 17, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

If the Nationals offer 20 mil and he doesn't take it then I say "have a nice life."

Posted by: jmpalomo | August 17, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Baseball's owners have tried that before and in November 1990 it cost them more than a quarter of a billion dollars.

True, but that was to hold down salaries if I remember correctly, and I'm not sure anti-collusion law would apply if teams did this individually. Or, since baseball has its anti-turst exemption, couldn't the league just ban Boras?

Posted by: InTheCheapSeats | August 17, 2009 11:19 AM

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

InTheCheapSeats, teams acting individually but in concert is the definition of collusion. And since the point of banning Boras would be self-evidently to hold down the amount of money that (newly drafted) players are to be paid, the purpose of the collusion would be the same as well.

Posted by: greggwiggins | August 17, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

First off, ticket prices are a function of demand. It's been established that payroll doesn't elevate ticket prices. Second, after taking the "principled high road" of not negotiating through the media, all of the sudden the Nats are -- wait for it -- negotiating through the media.

The Nats have to make the business decision if they want to pay to have a competitive team, or not. If The Plan was to build through the draft, it stands to reason you have to sign your draft picks. What, they didn't know high draft picks cost big money to sign? This business of figuring out the other guy's bottom line, then offering a little less, then whining to the media that "we tried" (which costs nada) is old and weak. Stop being Bud Selig's b*tt boys, grow a pair, and run this team like you are trying to win.

Posted by: gbooksdc | August 17, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

If Boras thinks he has an angle to turn Strasburg into a free agent by sending him to Japan for 2010, there's plenty out there to suggest the kid's free market value is closer to $50M. If he is willing to risk falling on his face in Japan and a potential court battle, it really comes down to this: does he want to be a rich man today and be in the bigs with the Nats as early as September or does he want to take a risk at making twice as much and arriving in 2011 with the Yanks, Red Sox, Dodgers or Angels? Let's get real: Boras/Strasburg aren't holding out for the possibility of squeezing another $5M out of the Royals, Pirates or even the Padres next August.

Posted by: ArlingtonNatsFan | August 17, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

The Nats probably have to make 1 additional small concession so Boras can come out of this with bragging rights.

I say the best deals are sometimes the ones you don't make. Pick 1A for 2010 is fine and the Nats will get Bryce Harper next year (with Boras as his advisor).

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | August 17, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Not if you ask Bora$....

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

If Strasburg doesnt sign, the Nats get the #2 overall pick next year as compensation right? So - there is a good chance they will have the #1 and 2 pick in the draft - in which case - Strasburg is the #3 pick at best and his stock does down. Or am I missing something?

Posted by: AlexVa1 | August 17, 2009 11:33 AM

Posted by: TimDz | August 17, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Well here they go again WTEM 980 in a preamble to a report said it should be of interest to Nats fans

All TEN of them!

Why the hostility?

Posted by: CBinDC1 | August 17, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

On Crow vs. Storen -- Storen's a closer, Crow's a starter. Someone said if you're spending more on your bullpen than your starters, you have a problem. Point being, you cannot say the Nats got a better pitcher in Storen (as if you can judge either one after a few weeks of pro -- not even MLB -- experience).

Look at the market -- top FA starter always get more than top FA closers. K-Rod got $37 million from the Mets, CC got $161 million from the Yankees. Crow got 1.6 million less from the Royals. If he pans out, that money will be lost in the rounding error. NTM, if he DOES pan out, that's one top flight SP the Nats will NEVER sniff.

The price of poker is what it is, and the Nats knew it before they got into the game. For every low payroll Twins, you have a Royals and a Pirates (and now, an Indians).

Posted by: gbooksdc | August 17, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

CBinDC1, I think they meant that only ten Nationals fans are listening to WTEM because all the station usually talks about is football and there's no reason for a baseball fan to be tuned in.

Posted by: greggwiggins | August 17, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

@506,

Acta views when you get some time?

Posted by: JayBeee | August 17, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

@gbooksdc: Your post implies that Crow signed...is that the case or is that a "what if" statement?

Posted by: TimDz | August 17, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

What MLB teams need to do is boycott Boras and any and all of his clients. If all three top picks go unsigned, no high draftee will ever sign with him again.

Posted by: InTheCheapSeats | August 17, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse
___________________________________________

Because he will have retired from the nine-figure settlement he will have received from MLB for conspiring to put him out of business.

Posted by: gbooksdc | August 17, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

ArlintonNatsFan: Under your first-to-Japan-and-then-to-the-Yankees scenario, a couple questions:

1. How long would he have to play in Japan in order to become a free agent in Japan and in MLB?

2. How much do you think he earns in Japan during this time?

Looks like you have studied this, and I'm just trying to figure out if your option makes sense. Go Carp!

Posted by: EdDC | August 17, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I'm also leaning towards thinking that the deal will get done - as opposed to not getting done.

I'm not full of it, but I am just speculating, as are you. Did the Nats "survive" not signing Crow. Yes, they survived but they also took a big PR hit and season ticket equivalents dropped to about 11K from over 16K. As much bad press that the Nats got for not being able to close a deal when both sides finished about $500K apart, Crow wasn't being hailed as the best pitching prospect since ever, or over the last 10 years, or since Mark Prior. The local and national backlash would be much worse - PR-wise.

----------------------------------
And with all due respect, comish, you're full of it. We survived Crow and we'll survive Strasburg if it doesn't happen.

But my money's on him signing anyway.

Posted by: NatsNut

Posted by: comish4lif | August 17, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Well here they go again WTEM 980 in a preamble to a report said it should be of interest to Nats fans

All TEN of them!

Why the hostility?

Posted by: CBinDC1 | August 17, 2009 11:48 AM
___________________________________

Because WTEM only has 15 listeners or so. Seriously, I haven't listened to them regularly in years. Right around the time it became Redskin Radio (though, not because). 106.7 is little better; who thinks screaming is entertaining? I listen to XM so I can chnage the channel on idiocy (and listen to MLB play-by-play from around the US).

Posted by: gbooksdc | August 17, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

@gbooksdc: Your post implies that Crow signed...is that the case or is that a "what if" statement?

Posted by: TimDz | August 17, 2009 11:55 AM
_____________________________________

I was sloppy; I was assuming for argument's sake that he had signed at the Royals' number, as to the point that he won't get what the Nats offered last year.

Posted by: gbooksdc | August 17, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang....well, it's off to work I go but one last note...all the talk about having the 1st pick next year-I don't think it's gonna happen.I do believe that we will finish with a better record than at least one, and possibly several, teams. So I hope we make hay while the sun shines.
And do I think a deal gets done? I got NO effin' idea!!!!!
Lookin' forward to all the reading tomorrow, though....as always we're in "1st Place" when it comes to all of you!(As I've said before, read some of the other teams comment sites if you don't believe me! Sorta like watching other local team broadcasts on the MLB package to realize how much worse our dynamic duo could be.)
Ain't this grand?
Go Nats

Posted by: zendo | August 17, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I would think that the drop in season tickets had more to do with...hmmm...the 102 loss season...

____________________________________

I'm not full of it, but I am just speculating, as are you. Did the Nats "survive" not signing Crow. Yes, they survived but they also took a big PR hit and season ticket equivalents dropped to about 11K from over 16K. As much bad press that the Nats got for not being able to close a deal when both sides finished about $500K apart, Crow wasn't being hailed as the best pitching prospect since ever, or over the last 10 years, or since Mark Prior. The local and national backlash would be much worse - PR-wise.

Posted by: comish4lif | August 17, 2009 12:00 PM

Posted by: TimDz | August 17, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

"I'm not full of it, but I am just speculating, as are you. Did the Nats "survive" not signing Crow. Yes, they survived but they also took a big PR hit and season ticket equivalents dropped to about 11K from over 16K. As much bad press that the Nats got for not being able to close a deal when both sides finished about $500K apart, Crow wasn't being hailed as the best pitching prospect since ever, or over the last 10 years, or since Mark Prior. The local and national backlash would be much worse - PR-wise."


Completely different situation. The Nats have made the highest offer ever to an amatuer (It's not even close). Crow has turned out to be an idiot and if Stras doesn't take this money he will be one as well. The diiference between guys who have opted to wait a year is none of them were taken #1. Strasburgs value can only go down.

Posted by: JDB1 | August 17, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I really think the kid signs at or near the deadline. He seriously can't risk losing millions of bucks to make a point. That would just be ridiculous. They don't hire Borass because he's a nice guy, he gets the do re me. Much as I think Borass is harming the game, you can't blame players for hiring him to get what they can. MLB and the MLBPA need to get a system that stops this craziness.

Posted by: cokedispatch | August 17, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

The Nats should take the $17e6 for Strasburg and give it to Adam Dunn instead.

Posted by: jboogie1 | August 17, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Scott Boras said that the Nats are a lousy team with no fans and a bleak future. Really?

Last I checked they have the 2nd best team batting average in the NL.

They are 5th in the NL in runs... Theyre not that bad.

Posted by: jboogie1 | August 17, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Scott Boras said that the Nats are a lousy team with no fans and a bleak future. Really?

Scott Boras can go read the Joey Eischen Quote. And Scott they need pitching, hence why they drafted your client. I guess he doesn't want to be the man to help them be a good team. It amazes me all these players who say they want to go to a winner. None of them say they want to help make a team a winner. Thats more respectable anyway you slice it in my book

Posted by: JDB1 | August 17, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

It's funny to read all the comments that if the Nats don't sign SS, then they can go out and get a FA pitcher or get another couple years of Adam Dunn.

Has everyone become a Little Lerner? This region is a big and rich enough market to enable the owners to afford signing the top pick and get a FA or two every year and sign the current players on the team who deserve it. Let's not buy into the "we're so poor" pathos around here. The budgets do not have to be so artificially tiny.

Posted by: EdDC | August 17, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

less than 11 hours to go! (Thank G*d!)

Posted by: twinbrook | August 17, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm of the camp that Strassburg really doesn't want to play for the Nats and wants to be with a West coast team even if is equally lousy like San Diego. If he wanted to get his career started, he would accept the $16-18M on the table and report to the minors so he could get some experience this year. If the Lerner's have offered him that much and he doesn't want to accept it, I think the Nats have done their part and the kids just doesn't want to play here.

It seems that Boras is going to cost Strassburg especially if he ends up missing most of next season and goes back in the draft. There's always the possibility that Pittsburgh will end up with the 1st pick next year and they are in major rebuilding mode. It doesn't sound like Strassburg has any interest in playing in the Independent League ala J.D. Drew and Japan seems unlikely as well.

Posted by: wizfan89 | August 17, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

MLB Network just reported Stras to his physical yesterday. This is good news

Posted by: JDB1 | August 17, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

1. This will get done. It will be for $20.2M.

2. No owner can simply throw money at a ridiculous Boras demand for an untried player.

3. You can play the $5M more game forever. The team has to have a line in the sand.

4. Storen is better than Crow. How many professional pitches has Crow thrown? Besides, Crow has shown himself to stupid to pitch at the MLB level.

5. There will be no melt down if Strasburg doesn't sign. You would be hard pressed to find substantial number of Nationals fans who even know who Aaron Crow is. Most would probably say he is the singer with gigantic mole on his face.

6. Teams should never draft signable players. If you want best (or worst) example of what happens when you do that, look at the Pirates. They have neither BJ Upton nor Matt Wieters because they took the signable players like Brian Bullington and Dan Moskos. You draft the best player available and sign him later.

7. If Scott Boras wants to challenge the draft on priciple, let him. The team should take a principle based stand. The draft is about holding down costs and ensuring the worst teams get the best players. That's the way it should be.

8. Never make a signable draft pick. Did I say that already.

9. Strasburg will sign.

Posted by: jeffreyt211 | August 17, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I am guessing this is just procedural, to make sure there isn't something medically wrong prior to the last minute negotiations. Then again, any sign that an agreement could be reached is a good thing.

__________________________________________

MLB Network just reported Stras to his physical yesterday. This is good news

Posted by: JDB1 | August 17, 2009 1:23 PM

Posted by: TimDz | August 17, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

What I would be watching closely as the deadline approaches is HOW MANY teams in the top ten will sign their 1st round Draft picks??....As of now, I haven't noticed or heard of specific news that anyone has signed...only speculations that maybe one or two have already done so but are holding back the "news"maybe until the SS decision is made...Collusion or not, there must be something to this than meets the eye...Interesting to see what will happen...If SS is signed...can we expect a deluge of other signings???Hope Nats make their best offer; then its all up to SS/Boras....the fans will understand surely...

Posted by: fbacolod29 | August 17, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

" am guessing this is just procedural, to make sure there isn't something medically wrong prior to the last minute negotiations. Then again, any sign that an agreement could be reached is a good thing."

I believe all draft picks are required to have a physical before signing.

Posted by: JDB1 | August 17, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we should just be happy with Storen and Holder. Holder: 2 college world series and 100 more innings against tougher teams than Strasburg.

Posted by: periculum | August 17, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

He signs, and Holder looks better. Then what?

Posted by: periculum | August 17, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Look, let's make the assumption that you are not going to overhaul the slotting system, it's a non-starter. Mark Prior got 10.5 mil in 2001. Using a very generous annual inflation rate of 5%, that comes to about 15.5 mil in 2009 dollars. Then for the sake of argument let's generously assume that Strasburg is the greatest amateur pitcher ever to come out of the draft, and is 20-30% more valuable than even Mark Prior. I mean, he's not Jesus Christ. That gives you a general range of $18-21 mil offer. That's as high as I would go, maybe tack on a nuisance fee of $1 mil. $22 million maximum. If Strasburg refuses, he and his agent are idiots, Nats are then absolutely in the driver's seat in the PR battle, they have nothing to apologize for.

Posted by: davis4 | August 17, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

To: Chico Harlan
From: Law offices of Engulf and Devour

Re:Postings

Dear Mr. Harlan

I represent the entire Nats Journal Nation who have contacted me about postings on Stephen Strasburg day.

Because most of my clients are hitting refresh every sixty seconds or so to find the latest news on the Strasburg situation--and finding nothing new--I demand the following:

1. You provide your loyal and generous readers with an update every 15 minutes. If nothing is new, say "Nothing new."

2. You provide your readers with Stephen Strasburg's home phone number, just in case

3. You provide your readers with Scott Boras' home phone number, just for fun.

If you fail to provide relief as outlined to your readers, I will have no choice but to make sure you never get a job in the restaurant and gourmet foods industry.

As proof of Engulf and Devour's power, we have already blacklisted you from the fast food industry.

Just try to get a job at McDonalds. Just try.

Thanks for doing the right thing, and doing it every 15 minutes.

John Edwards
Associate Attorney
Engulf and Devour

Posted by: rushfari | August 17, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

The Nats should of known this when they drafted him. They knew he was going to cost them the farm. Just sign the fraking player and get it done. You can throw all that money at Texeria but you can't sign the guy that will be the face of your franchise? I am not a Nats fan, always will be an Orioles fan. But I would like to see the Nats succeed. AT least the O's are going in a good direction. the Nats are just spinning their wheels....

Posted by: yeayea911 | August 17, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Grunfeld tanked the 2008-09 season for the Wizards. He got what he deserved. It's already been done.

Posted by: hz9604 | August 17, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

"The Nats should of known this when they drafted him. They knew he was going to cost them the farm. Just sign the fraking player and get it done. You can throw all that money at Texeria but you can't sign the guy that will be the face of your franchise? I am not a Nats fan, always will be an Orioles fan. But I would like to see the Nats succeed. AT least the O's are going in a good direction. the Nats are just spinning their wheels...."

You're incinuating they didn't know. Of course they knew this would be a deadline deal and how much it would cost. They have offerred him the farm. You should know this won't be announced until after midnight.....see Weiters.

Apparently the Orioles didn't get your message that they're going in the right direction, they're playing awful baseball since the all star break. The Nats got rid of their biggest problems Jim Bowden and Acta. Since then the moves they have made have been savy and have gotten rid of rotten eggs. On August 17th the Nationals are a better baseball team then the Orioles. Yes you heard that correct.

Posted by: JDB1 | August 17, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

If it is true, as being reported by cnnsi.com, that the Nats have offered Strasburg $12.5 million, then I believe there is no way he will sign and the Nats will be decimated in the PR war to follow. As mentioned above, taking Mark Prior's $10.5 million in 2001 and simply adjusting for inflation (without any additional premium), brings you to over $15 million as a starting point. What could the Nats possibly be thinking here? I hope it is not true. If it is, just additional proof of incompetent Nats' leadership.

Posted by: davis4 | August 17, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Agents have ruined the game, espcially Boras... I am tired of hearing the same old crap routine of this one is one of a kind... So was Prior, Kerry Wood and other flame throwing pitchers. It baffles me that a $10m signing bonus is not enough. The last time I checked, the agent works for the player.... the greed of the agent makes this kid look bad unless he is really that selfish and greedy! A wonder kid, sign your deal offered then take MLB by storm and prove that you are one of a kind and not a pitching burnout!

Posted by: rvanags | August 17, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

It was pointed out this weekend that exactly zero first round pitchers have gone on to the Hall of Fame. Only Kevin Brown won more than 200 games and he's no H of F'er. Remember Ben McDonald? Couldn't miss! Next Roger Clemens! Didn't happen! The Nats need to keep their wits about them with this kid. Save it for a proven free agent.

Posted by: curtb | August 17, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

"If it is true, as being reported by cnnsi.com, that the Nats have offered Strasburg $12.5 million, then I believe there is no way he will sign and the Nats will be decimated in the PR war to follow. As mentioned above, taking Mark Prior's $10.5 million in 2001 and simply adjusting for inflation (without any additional premium), brings you to over $15 million as a starting point. What could the Nats possibly be thinking here? I hope it is not true. If it is, just additional proof of incompetent Nats' leadership."

Masn (Roch Kubato) reported it was 17-20 million. The CNN story is Boras waging the PR war, the Masn story is the Nats doing the same. I wouldn't believe either.

Posted by: JDB1 | August 17, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Let's see after Boras gets his 10% that's 9.5 Mill. Uncle Sam and Calif. probably get 40%. That leaves about $6 Million. I think most citizens could live comfortably just on the income from that money. So, Stephen. Tell you what, take the deal, let me hold the money for you for 10 years and I'll give you back all the principal just keep the income. A pitcher is like a race horse except at least you have a chance for stud fees if the race horse breaks down. You don't with a dead armed pitcher with a large contract.

Posted by: genericrepub | August 17, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

It is so freaking simple, it really is. Start with Prior's deal. Adjust for inflation. Add a little sweetner as a good faith gesture given all the acclaim, even if it slightly hurts your ego and/or wallet. End up somewhere in the range of $18-21 million. You have just built a rock solid case for the offer itself not being outlandish (therefore you don't piss off fellow owners), AND guaranteed yourself a winning PR argument in the event Strasburg stupidly rejects it. PRIOR + INFLATION + REASONABLE GOOD FAITH ADJUSTMENT = NO BRAINER.

Posted by: davis4 | August 17, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Of course, what everyone fails to mention is that the Boras theory fails in one obvious respect - unlike NFL, where the #1 overall almost *always* signs for a bigger deal than the guy from the year before, in MLB, Prior's 10.5 million from 2001 has remained the industry standard. That is to say, there's no informal rule stating that the #1 overall's $$ should gradually increase, cost of living, inflation, amount of revenue, etc ... For some reason, every single #1 since 2001 has signed for LESS than Prior, so why should the Nats be made to break the bank? Again, if they've put 17 million out there and he says no, the Nats have done their best, can feel as though they bargained in good faith and let SS try on a Bucs uni at PNC next year and see how much that gets him ....

Posted by: terrapin31590us | August 17, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

"Masn (Roch Kubato) reported it was 17-20 million. The CNN story is Boras waging the PR war, the Masn story is the Nats doing the same. I wouldn't believe either."

Got it. If CNNSI is wrong and MASN is correct, then Nats have done everything right. Prior + inflation + slight bump. The range MASN is reporting is spot on target.

Posted by: davis4 | August 17, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Jon Heyman of SI reports the Nats offer is $12 million, not $20.

Thrifty ownership rears its ugly head again. If THAT's the offer, the team will lose the PR war (not to mention have wasted a first rd pick; can you say Kwame Brown?).

Posted by: gbooksdc | August 17, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Didn't Boswell or Harlan write about a $12.5M offer a few days ago? Old news.

The Nationals' FO expected this signing to be between $15M and $20M from the beginning. I'm sure that $12.5M isn't the current offer.

Posted by: jeffreyt211 | August 17, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

By the way, MASN is team controlled, SI is independent. So there's that.

Posted by: gbooksdc | August 17, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

By the way, MASN is team controlled, SI is independent. So there's that.

Posted by: gbooksdc
---------------------
And Heyman is Boras controlled. There is that.

Posted by: jeffreyt211 | August 17, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

"Of course, what everyone fails to mention is that the Boras theory fails in one obvious respect - unlike NFL, where the #1 overall almost *always* signs for a bigger deal than the guy from the year before, in MLB, Prior's 10.5 million from 2001 has remained the industry standard. That is to say, there's no informal rule stating that the #1 overall's $$ should gradually increase, cost of living, inflation, amount of revenue, etc ... For some reason, every single #1 since 2001 has signed for LESS than Prior, so why should the Nats be made to break the bank? Again, if they've put 17 million out there and he says no, the Nats have done their best, can feel as though they bargained in good faith and let SS try on a Bucs uni at PNC next year and see how much that gets him ...."

Prior was deemed a special case and I assume everyone agrees that Strasburg is a special case too. The Nats have virtually conceded he is a better prospect than Prior. So I just think it makes imminent sense (particularly on the "marketing" side) to use Prior as a start, allow anincrease for CPI (or whatever you want to call it) -- after all, baseball revenues have increased significantly over this time, is it really unreasonable to ask for a CPI adjustment in this case? -- and then add a good faith bump over Prior so that you are in an absolute no-lose situation. $18-20 mil is nowhere near the Dice-K money that Boras dreams of (so you've won there), you're not breaking the bank to sign a once in a blue moon prospect (another plus), and you have plenty of PR ammunition if they walk away.

Posted by: davis4 | August 17, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

If the offer is $12 million, that's a lot of money. If Strasbourg would rather walk than earn $12 million, its not the Nats fault.

Good riddance, I say. I hope his darn arm falls off!

The fault is MLB, which allowed this stupid draft system to exist in this form for so long, when they knew it was broken. They should adopt a system similar to the NBA.

This is why I don't EVER pay to see pro sports. I spend the money on myself and go play golf. I'll never be putting my hard-earned money in the pockets of these babied, no-good, money-grubbing pro athletes. Once in a while I get free tickets and that's enough for me.

When are we as consumers going to draw a line? Every time a pro athlete signs a multi-million dollar contract, do you think it's the owners that pay for it? No, no, it's you and the other fans that go to the games.

As far as TV revenue goes, NFL football is so full of commercials, I have to record the games on DVR and play them back so that I can FF thru the commercials. For a one oclock Redskins game, I start watching it at about 2:30 and still cath up to the game by the end of the 4th quarter!

For baseball games, after each half inning I flip to some other show and watch another program simultaneously. No way I'm sitting thru 5 minutes of commercials.

When pay-per-view becomes the only way to see the games, I'll be out on the golf course spending my money on me. Where will you be?

Posted by: rb-freedom-for-all | August 17, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

If the offer is $12 million, that's a lot of money. If Strasbourg would rather walk than earn $12 million, its not the Nats fault.

Good riddance, I say. I hope his darn arm falls off!...

Posted by: rb-freedom-for-all | August 17, 2009 5:23 PM
_______________________________________

$12 million is a lot of money. $1.2 million is a lot of money. $40 million is even more money, and that is what we baseball fans made for the Lerners when they gave us a 100-loss team.

If you keep rewarding them for giving you a 100-loss team, they will continue to give you a 100-loss team. Why should they assume risk and pay market-rates for good players when they can give you crummy players and make $40 million each year?

We pay for talent in this country. Adam Sandler gets $20 million a picture. I'd be happy to star in a movie for a tenth that much, and so would the rest of you, but WE are not that entertaining.

If the Nats refuse to pay market -- and the draft system is designed to pay below-market -- then they _are_ at fault. They knew he'd cost way, way more than Prior-dollars; it's like knowing an entree costs $40, and then trying to haggle the price down after you ate it.

Posted by: gbooksdc | August 17, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Let him live off of endorsements and sign in SD for about 6 mil next year.

Posted by: robinhood2 | August 17, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

In Philadelphia we let JD Drew go because of Scott Boreass. Next year got Pat the bat Burell. JD had injuries Pat was good in Phila. Let the kid walk. I know it's a big message but Boras is bad for Baseball. It's every Phillies fan dream to have him thrown to the crowd at an Eagles game.

Posted by: jerseydevil | August 17, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

The tragedy with the current draft (CANNOT trade the pick) is that cheap and deadbeat teams are drafting 1 and 2 every year..... and in those years where you have an Alcindor/ Ewing like phenom in the draft.....teams like the NOTS or a QUITSburgh are like a deer in headlights.....these cheap teams neither want to draft and pay a Strasburg or a catcher like Bryce Harper who will both want and get more than the previous $10 mil record $$$$............So what do they do?...Draft anyway and probably never sign them?....sign them to trade a year later?.......or draft some guy with the #2 pick ... ranked like 10th on the board because that's all the $$$ they want to spend? ......Lucky for the NOTS...QUITSburgh will most likely end the season with the worst record...and KC might very well fall to 2nd worse team .....so next year, the NOTS might draft #2 (if they fail to sign SS)...... and #3 or #4.....assuming not picked by Quitsburgh at #1, will the NOTS blow off $$$ Harper to take a cheaper person?........Bottom line ,if the draft continues to disallow trading the pick, $$ SLOTTING MUST be instituted ASAP.........

Posted by: unc1dmo | August 17, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

This boy and his agent, can hit the bricks !

At the end of the day, this kid is not worth the headache, nor will he make that big of a difference.

Use this same money. too go after established players, I.E. a 2nd basemen comes to mind, along with a Short Stop and some value pitching.

Forget this punk kid and his arrogant agent !

Posted by: dashriprock | August 17, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

there is more delusion written here than most of the time....."Screw SS and spend the $$ on F/A's !!!"...READ it here FIRST....TOP F/A's DO NOT sign with cheap teams that are contending for last place...and Good Starting Pitchers are the most desirable commodity in baseball AND.The most expensive $$$$$$$....LAST place teams sign pitchers like Odalis Perez...J D Martin....Mike MacDougal....Jorge Sosa.....So if you keep clusterfxxxxx the 1st round of the DRAFT for whatever the reason.......you better get used to Last place.......

Posted by: unc1dmo | August 17, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Quality teams sign their top picks. Otherwise, why bother picking them?

Posted by: dezlboy1 | August 17, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Oooooh. But, have you considered how not signing will affect his wife/girlfriend? You should really look into that too . . . . Because I might not understand the hardship she must be suffering.

Seriously. You're thinking of charging me for this content?

Posted by: PMartini | August 17, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Daniel Snyder will sign him to a record deal to play QB next year.

Posted by: oneft2dice | August 17, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

I don't think we have a chance but I hope so.

Posted by: tammanyhall2109 | August 17, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

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