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The Pressure of the Countdown

We have just hours remaining until the midnight deadline. I'm trying to picture the scene on the third-floor team office at Nationals Park. I expect it's thoroughly nerve-rattling, as if anticipating some high noon (or midnight) gunfight. PR people probably have two press releases ready to go. I'd assume team president Stan Kasten, or perhaps the Lerners, have had preliminary contact with Scott Boras today. It's all part of what Strasburg's mother, Kathy Swett, described yesterday as "an intricate dance."

Well said.

But why delay all this until the last hours? Maybe I just don't understand enough about negotiations, or about the value of scare tactics/pressure in brokering deals -- but to me, nothing about the blueprint for amateur draftee contract talks makes sense. When you have 70 days to work something out, why save the vast majority of the work for, say, the last two weeks, or even the last six hours? It would be like having two months to travel across the country on a road trip, only to decide on the final day remaining, 'Well, I'm heading off to California now, and hopefully my car goes 300 mph.'

When everything waits until the final moments, the odds of a mistake, or a miscalculation, escalate drastically. For both sides. Word is, Strasburg never even got a serious offer from the Nats until 1-1/2 weeks ago. Last year, in negotiations with first-rounder Aaron Crow, the delays were even more egregious, and the blame ran both ways. The Hendricks brothers, who represented Crow, only gave their first proposed number on Aug. 12, with about 60 hours left before the deadline. Crow, they said, wanted $9 million. Until the final day, Washington never offered more than $2.25.

Only at 11:44 p.m. on deadline night did Crow's demands drop from $9 million to $4.4 million. Crow, at the last minute, dropped the demand to $4 million, but Washington wouldn't go higher than $3.5.

Midnight passed.

No deal.

The sides were $500,000 apart.

By Chico Harlan  |  August 17, 2009; 5:23 PM ET
 
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Next: Into The Night We Go

Comments

I've wondered the same thing. Why does it have to come down until midnight? How irritating.

Posted by: trezmartin | August 17, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

How can Chico post and talk on espnews at the same time!!

Go Chico!!

Posted by: curz | August 17, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

And Crow is "reportedly" being offered $3.0 by the K.C. Royals. You should be paying attention to that SS!

Posted by: anyone1 | August 17, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Nice call-in on ESPN News Chico!!!! Must have been pre-recorded. LOL

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | August 17, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

"When everything waits until the final moments, the odds of a mistake, or a miscalculation, escalate drastically."

This is precisely why high-pressure negotiators (like Boras) wait to the last minute. He wants the pressure there. He wants somebody to make a mistake. He is confident that it won't be him making that mistake, so (in his mind) this pressure can only work in his favor.

My guess is more than having the same confidence on the other side, the Nats simply understand that Boras won't come to a deal before this pressure point, so there was no point in trying.

But what do I know- I'm sitting here refreshing the same websites all day, waiting for any crumb of rumor or news to come out!

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | August 17, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Washington is a great city, but can you imagine getting stuck in Kansas City. I have a brother that lives there in Overland Park, Kansas. Not a place I look forward to visiting again.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | August 17, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

What did Chico say on ESPNEWS?

Posted by: rachel216 | August 17, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Comments on the mlb.com site seem to be running heavily prejudiced against Boras and Strasburg. I can't see how the Nats come out of this too badly at this point - especially since 1/3 of the first round picks remain unsigned. That said, I hope SS picks up his pen and signs the deal.

Posted by: lowcountry | August 17, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

You and me both, brother.

-----

Maybe I just don't understand enough about negotiations, or about the value of scare tactics/pressure in brokering deals -- but to me, nothing about the blueprint for amateur draftee contract talks makes sense.

Posted by: JohninMpls | August 17, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Chico,

Keep us posted on the other unsigned Boras clients...

And on the aforementioned Aaron Crow. I can't believe he hasn't signed yet. What is that guy thinking anyway? Talk about a loss of leverage!

Sec314

Posted by: arlingtontwb | August 17, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Not to harp on wilbon but what does he have against D.C. sports? Did they come kick his dog or hit on his wife? That man has got some weird obsession with minor errors the nats have made.

Posted by: Elbaryn | August 17, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Really, the only leverage either side ultimately has is the threat to walk away, right? As the deadline approaches, both the team and the player/agent are playing chicken with that deadline because it's the only stick they have. The Nats desperately want SS/SB to believe they're willing to let him go, and SS/SB desperately want the Nats to believe SS is willing to sit out for a year or more.

Chico's right that this raises the odds for miscalculation, but both sides are convinced that if they "blink" first they'll lose leverage. So, why blink until the last moment? That's why it takes until the deadline. If you made the deadline 10 days after the draft, or 100 days after the draft, you'd still have the midnight rush with Boras and his guys.

Posted by: Section220 | August 17, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon only writes about negative stuff that goes on with D.C. sports teams.

Posted by: rachel216 | August 17, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Dustin Ackley is regretting tying his horse to Strasburg's at thsi point?

Posted by: lowcountry | August 17, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

In the NFL draft, whichever team has the #1 choice is allowed to negotiate with players in advance of the draft itself, and a contract can be in place before the formal selection takes place (e.g., the Lions this year had #1 pick Matt Stafford signed before draft day). Does anyone know: Does baseball allow this? Or, is this an example of another difference between the NFL and MLB draft processes (e.g., like not being able to swap draft choices)?

Posted by: mvm2 | August 17, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

The Nationals should not make ANY deal without the Public Option.

Posted by: tailwagger | August 17, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

It sounds like A. Crow is being a butt, again, this time with the Royals.

Posted by: samantha7 | August 17, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Boras has to wait this out no matter hat. It is the way he operates. He cannot settle early at this point. It would affect his future negotiations. Let me know how it goes down at midnight.

Posted by: tomfoc31 | August 17, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

How does the leverage/blinking thing work when there's no deadline?

For example, Crow is exempt from the deadline this year due to the several Independent League games he played this year. Is an artificial deadline as potent?

Posted by: JohninMpls | August 17, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

I've heard from differing sources that Strasburg could return to San Diego State and pitch next year.

Is that true? Does anyone know? Certainly, that's not doable in the NBA or the NFL.

Ideas?

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

Scott Boras is the one that got the "death panel" added to the health care bill

Posted by: skinsfan1234 | August 17, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Just reading through the posts, last year's $4 million was scary money for a guy Baseball America called the best RHP in the draft and maybe the best pitcher in the draft. Now you've got maybe $20 million for SS, a number that boggles the mind around here.

Keep in mind that we are not used to such numbers. But other clubs in MLB are. Look at the Giants who gave $126 million to Barry Zito. The older guys can be even bigger risks than someone who has never thrown one pitch to a big leaguer. Look at KC, which gave $55 million to Gil Meche. (The Royals also gave $36 million to our old pal Jose Guillen). It's all a risk. Everything is!

We live in a town where loyal Nats' fans brag about how the Lerners extended themselves to get Josh Willingham and his $2.95 million contract, offering this contract as proof that the Lerners are not cheap. In our world, the $20 million given to Dunn, as the only expensive FA ever signed under the Lerners, is huge money.

So the point is that we should not be freaked out by the big money. What if you could get both Crow and Strasburg for $24 million, locking them up for 6 years each? I would jump at it, especially given all the money the Nats are not spending elsewhere. Then you could start dreaming about 1 and 2 SP to go with the other young SPs already here. As it now stands, just getting one of them will be a start.

Posted by: EdDC | August 17, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

We got a warm body (Morse) for Langershlang? The more I think of that, the more I think Rizzo should be executive of the year.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | August 17, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

"106.7 the fan" is supposed to be covering Strasburg up until midnight

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

John, I don't see where Crow has actually pitched at all this year. What is the source of the exemption?

Posted by: lowcountry | August 17, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

I look forward to monitoring from afar Mr. Strasburg's career as a member of the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters.

I trust that he can make up the balance of his declined bonus money through endorsement deals for products like, say, Mr. Sparkle laundry detergent.

In fact, while he and his agent decide his fate leading up to the midnight hour, perhaps he could begin practicing his signature line: "I am disrespectful to dirt! Can you see I am serious?"

Posted by: Ted_Striker | August 17, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

@ JiM - you're right, isn't there a different deadline for Crow? Doesn't he have until next year's draft or something like that? (Does anyone know?) So, I would assume this deadline is irrelevant to him if he really wants to continue to try to play hardball - he can threaten to sit around for another year.

Posted by: Section220 | August 17, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

By the way, Chico... this was a really solid post. Great analogy.

As for Strasburg, if Washington goes above $20mil and signs him, they won't really be "winners". In fact, a lot of people will lambaste the organization for investing so much into a 1 in 50 shot, rather than investing in KNOWN commodities. Especially when guys like Bobby Abreu were available on the CHEAP this past offseason.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | August 17, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

The top three (or is it five?) guys in this year's draft are all Boras clients, right? And none of them have signed yet, right? So if it all goes down to the wire, do the No. 2 and No. 3 guys get short shrift in the form of a Boras employee and not Boras himself actually doing the bulk of the negotiating?

Posted by: Juan-John | August 17, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

@ lowcountry - I was under the impression there was a different deadline for re-drafted players, but maybe I'm totally offbase with that...I think that's what JiM is talking about.

Posted by: Section220 | August 17, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

>I've wondered the same thing. Why does it have to come down until midnight? How irritating.

Posted by: trezmartin

You got that right. Boras sounds like he's hanging up the Ackley signing too. Not to mention the other top pick I forget. He must be playing the last minute deal thing against one another or something. You'd think he would want to get Strasburg done first and work backward with that leverage. But that's the way an engineer would do it, not a sheister.

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

To play Devil's advocate, why should SS be stuck settling for only what the Nats will pay him when we all know the Red Sox or Yankees wouldn't think twice about paying him twice as much? Also, how is it fair to SS and other American born players to be subjected to the draft when players from other countries can just sign as free agents with whatever team they want?

Posted by: cainoo7x | August 17, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Crow has until a week before next year's draft:

http://www.kansascity.com/news/breaking_news/story/1388432.html

Thank you, Google!

Posted by: Section220 | August 17, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Crow doesn't have to sign until the week before next year's draft so the deadline doesn't mean anything to him. In other words, he may end up losing two years of MLB service time if he doesn't sign before next season. Same thing could happen to Strasburg if he doesn't sign tonight.

And Strasburg can go back to school since baseball players don't sign with agents but are "advised" by them. He'd probably go to the Independent League regardless so he could make some $$ and play against better competition.

Posted by: jsaltman | August 17, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon only writes about negative stuff that goes on with D.C. sports teams.

Posted by: rachel216

It is the Arizona sun that beats down on his house seems to be at fault.

BTW is it part of the job to be a WASHINGTON Post sports columnist that you live in another city and then throw verbal bombs at the city, the residents and the teams.

Posted by: CBinDC1 | August 17, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

I usually respect Tim Brandt on the local ABC station, but tonight he said that the credibility of the whole franchise is on the line...That the Nats must sign SS no matter what. I totally disagree.

Posted by: Baldino | August 17, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

If the Nats go above 15-20 they are foolish. Spend that cash on the big club in the offseason. I hope SS signs but if not have fun pitching for the Lincoln Saltdogs.

Posted by: tallbaby2121 | August 17, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully Storen will be better than Crow and last year won't be so bad...plus it sent a message we won't cave into every agent who demands above slot. I kind of feel bad for these kids because it seems that this is an ego trip for Boras not about the prospect's career.

Posted by: mjr_06 | August 17, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Losing so much service time is crazy to me because that guy will probably be standing out there at age 40 someday with an 83 mph fastball wishing he had those years back when he was sitting on the couch watching cartoons while he could throw 96 mph.

Posted by: mjr_06 | August 17, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

>I usually respect Tim Brandt on the local ABC station, but tonight he said that the credibility of the whole franchise is on the line...That the Nats must sign SS no matter what. I totally disagree.

Posted by: Baldino

The place is 3/4 empty right now. Imagine what it's gonna be like if they let him walk. The reality is that most fans will split, and only the hardcore numnuts will stay on. The ones that like to get flogged. Of course they have to sign him. Not to mention the fact that they need him in the rotation desperately.

Posted by: Brue | August 17, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

He's not going to be in the rotation this year anyways. Maybe a cameo appearance after rosters expand, but he's just simply not ready. Look at his performance at the Olympics or the College tournament. If he's that bad against mediocre competition, bringing him up is just asking for trouble. He's got good qualifications and good physical attributes, there's no reason to hurry him before he's ready.

Posted by: swang30 | August 17, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Brue: Only harcore numnuts care about the draft signing. SS needs Nats more than Nats need SS.

Posted by: tailwagger | August 17, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

You know, I'm very surprised because it seems that most of us are being as conservative-perhaps more so-with the Lerner's money than even the Lerners.

I agree with many of you; I can live with any number up to $20 million, but not a penny more.

If he doesn't want it, the Nationals can sign a free agent this winter and still have the #2 pick next year(and the #1 or #3 depending on where we end up this year).

Strasburg doesn't want to prolong this. He needs to prove he is as good as everyone says he is.

Posted by: rushfari | August 17, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Two quick thoughts:

(1) If SS doesn't sign, it won't be over a $500K gap; it will be over a $10M gap.

(2) I haven't seen this among the myriad posts, so I'll raise it. Could the Nats do an incredibly incentive laden contract? Give him $15M now and $30M in incentives if he does turn into Roger Clemens over the next four years (RoY, MVP, 200 Ks, 20 wins, Cy Young). Why not?

Posted by: ArlingtonNatsFan | August 17, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Crow may have until next year,but he's 23 now,I believe.Major League teams don't want to be developing guys in their mid twenties.

Posted by: seanmg | August 17, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, 220! We are now under five hours - its just like the Cuban Missile crisis all over again!

Posted by: lowcountry | August 17, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

i didn't realize this, but according to mlb trade rumors, ron villone, julian tavares, and felipe lopez are all advised by scott boras. interesting. for some reason i thought he only worked with the uber hot shots.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 17, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

lowcountry, I got that from Stark over at ESPN:

"The Nationals couldn't get him signed by last year's deadline. Now, two months after the Royals became the second team to pick him in the first round, he's been exempted from this year's signing deadline because he made a few independent league starts in May. So there's literally no end in sight.

"But we're hearing rumblings that the Royals are planning to establish their own deadline in a few weeks, just to get this mess resolved, one way or the other. If Crow balks again to head back into the draft a third time, he's getting into Matt Harrington territory."

Posted by: JohninMpls | August 17, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't aware the nats averaged 10000 that 3/4 empty. Nice try. Regardless if the kid is signed or not, if the teams wins people would show. Further, I would love for someone to show an instance where a team who had 43 wins at this point in the year averaged significantly more then the 23 thousand plus the nats currently average.

Posted by: JDB1 | August 17, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

On another note, Marrero was promoted to AA. I'm looking forward to seeing how he does up there.

Posted by: danp3111 | August 17, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

"BTW is it part of the job to be a WASHINGTON Post sports columnist that you live in another city and then throw verbal bombs at the city, the residents and the teams."

Yes it is. That's why Boswell lives in Annapolis.

Posted by: nunof1 | August 17, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

"The place is 3/4 empty right now. Imagine what it's gonna be like if they let him walk."

It'll still be 3/4 empty. Until they start winning some games (which they don't need Strasburg to do), then it will start filling up again.

You think any of those numbnuts who filled the stadium in 2005 knew who any of those players were? Not til they managed to string together some wins, then all of a sudden the Nats were the flavor of the month. Even the taste of Strasburg will go sour quick if he fails to produce a winning team. You really think he will? There's no guarantee.

Posted by: nunof1 | August 17, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

ok folks. i'm starting my media blackout. good luck, have fun and i'll see you in the morning. =)

Posted by: NatsNut | August 17, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

"Thanks, 220! We are now under five hours - its just like the Cuban Missile crisis all over again!

Posted by: lowcountry | August 17, 2009"

But there was never any *real* crisis? Thanks to the very first really useful satellite, (well okay it was a SPY satellite), the Corona Series the US knew:

1. The Russians only 10 ICBM's.
2. The US was rapidly approaching 1000, plus
superior nuclear sub technology.
3. In order to avoid another U2 or Bay-of-Pigs
fiasco / controversy the satellites were
launched to check the situation out first.
They confirmed suspicions, then the U2's
were sent to get a double confirmation.
(Given how new that technology was it
would have been unlikely for any president
to completely trust the satellite.) Because
the technology was so sensitive and so
top-secret underwear the US Govt. has yet
to admit TODAY that they used that satellite
during the crisis! And the satellite is in
the Smithsonian Air And Space Museum.

Oh.. yeah crisis ... okay the US would have
won that one hands-down. One problem Europe
would have become a ash heap. They were
reachable with short range nukes.


Posted by: periculum | August 17, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

In other non SS news..."1B Nick Johnson left the first game of a doubleheader Sunday after the first inning with a right hamstring strain. He was listed as day-to-day. He was quoted after the game as saying he was sure that somehow it was Ronnie Belliard's fault."

http://florida.marlins.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090816&content_id=6453148&vkey=news_fla&fext=.jsp&c_id=fla

Posted by: twinbrook | August 17, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

"Even the taste of Strasburg will go sour quick if he fails to produce a winning team. You really think he will? There's no guarantee."

I'll take Drew Storen, Trevor Holder, and JD Martin (man he has one ***smokin hot*** lady too!!) ... don't need no Strasburg.

Posted by: periculum | August 17, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, JiM

Nevertheless, periculum - Right now, I'm wishing that we had just traded the draft pick!

Posted by: lowcountry | August 17, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

"When everything waits until the final moments, the odds of a mistake, or a miscalculation, escalate drastically. For both sides. Word is, Strasburg never even got a serious offer from the Nats until 1-1/2 weeks ago. Last year, in negotiations with first-rounder Aaron Crow, the delays were even more egregious, and the blame ran both ways"

Clearly the Lerners management style is more reactive than proactive ... strange that they have done as well as they have?

Posted by: periculum | August 17, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

I hear everything's up to date in Kansas City. (take it away, Old Dude)

---

Washington is a great city, but can you imagine getting stuck in Kansas City. I have a brother that lives there in Overland Park, Kansas. Not a place I look forward to visiting again.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | August 17, 2009 5:32 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 17, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

In other (non SS news) Brian Oliver reports that former 1st round pick Chris Marerro was promoted to AA Harrisburg from advanced A Potomac.

Ricardo Pecina, a left handed pitcher, was promoted to replace him there.

Still no word on who gets the call-up from AAA Syracuse to replace Kensing.

Posted by: periculum | August 17, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Kinda reminds me of Dr. Strangelove. Or is that Strangeglove? Overheard at Nats Park's negotiations central command: "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room."

--

Thanks, 220! We are now under five hours - its just like the Cuban Missile crisis all over again!

Posted by: lowcountry | August 17, 2009 7:07 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 17, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Chico, the other, "Tommy Johns" Chico has been doing well of late in Harrisburg.

Posted by: periculum | August 17, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

I'll miss seeing Marerro at P-Nats games but good on him.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 17, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Re: the WASHINGTON Post columnists. At least Boz lives in the general vicinity. I mean, I think Wilbon can be a great columnist and he was very nice during the one face to face conversation we had. But he has totally lost his columnist fastball by delving into TV and living part time in Arizona. One of the many signs of the decline of the Post is the weakness of their sports columnists. Tony lost it years before he stopped writing, Wilbon is fading, Boz doesn't write enough, Wise is meh, Sally Jenkins is spotty, lives in NYC I think and doesn't write often enough and Tracee's too new to evaluate. They're like the Nats: no #1 starter.

Maybe they should spend $12 million and sign some young hotshot who, you know, actually wants to live here.

Posted by: baltova1 | August 17, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

See you in a couple of hours, NatsNut. ;-)

---

ok folks. i'm starting my media blackout. good luck, have fun and i'll see you in the morning. =)

Posted by: NatsNut | August 17, 2009 7:34 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 17, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

@ nunof1

They're three games over .500 with Riggleman. They've already started winning. With greatly inferior pitching to Strasburg. A bunch of 4 and 5 starters right now. Who's to say in the future that the guys we have don't get better, which they should. The team needs him, he's a difference maker when it comes to record. He can go deep into games on 50% stuff, he's that good. He'd move us up a full 12-15 games in the standings imo.

Posted by: Brue | August 17, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

"Sally Jenkins is spotty, lives in NYC I think and doesn't write often enough and Tracee's too new to evaluate. They're like the Nats: no #1 starter."

@baltova:

What about the "Mayor"? He is a pretty prolific writer if RI is any indication? I think he's pretty good.

Posted by: periculum | August 17, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

@brue: yeah and notice how that now that they're winning they're averaging 18-20K for the likes of the Marlins and Padres? That's way more than 3/4 empty. Point is, not signing Strasburg makes no difference if they can keep that up. Although, yeah, sure he'd ne nice to have, but if he doesn't sign it's far from a disaster.

Posted by: nunof1 | August 17, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

@brue: yeah and notice how that now that they're winning they're averaging 18-20K for the likes of the Marlins and Padres? That's way more than 3/4 empty. Point is, not signing Strasburg makes no difference if they can keep that up. Although, yeah, sure he'd ne nice to have, but if he doesn't sign it's far from a disaster.
****************************************

Nationals Park seats 43,888 fans. Attendance would have to be under 11,000 for it to be 3/4 empty. Nice try.

Posted by: BGinVA | August 17, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Looks like its going to be MJ Morse. SYR is now short and Harrisburg is over. So, someone gets promoted to SYR from Harrisburg?


Be interesting to see if Morse gets to start some games instead of Belliard at 2nd base? Clearly they aren't really happy with AG.

BinM thinks Guzman or Nanita to SYR. My guess is Plasencia, Storen or Meyers.

Posted by: periculum | August 17, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Who says Strasburg wants to come to DC? Sure, if the Nats will pay him $30 million. Otherwise, why not avoid a dysfunctional team with little hope of reaching the postseason in the foreseeable future and play at home in SD in better weather, in a pitcher's ballpark, in a weaker division for a professionally run franchise?

Posted by: jsg8 | August 17, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Unless I misunderstood you, and you mean 18-20K is more than the 11K that would be a 3/4 empty stadium. If that's the case, I'm sorry about that :)

Posted by: BGinVA | August 17, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Tick

Posted by: rucks35 | August 17, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Who says Strasburg wants to come to DC? Sure, if the Nats will pay him $30 million. Otherwise, why not avoid a dysfunctional team with little hope of reaching the postseason in the foreseeable future and play at home in SD in better weather, in a pitcher's ballpark, in a weaker division for a professionally run franchise

Posted by: jsg8 | August 17, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Wilbon?

Posted by: artvandelay2 | August 17, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Man, it's hilarious that today's an off day for the Nats.

Great job with the schedule, MLB. Ha ha.

Posted by: JohninMpls | August 17, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Tickety Tock, the mouse ran up the clock ... the clock struck 12, oh ne'er do well, and down the clock he run.

Posted by: periculum | August 17, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

old pete gammons said all the top 10 have signed but stras, just hasnt been announced yet...i think thats good for the nats, boras had to give in on his other guys im sure

Posted by: formerlylove1 | August 17, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Boras, shouldn't you be negotiating with the Nats?

-------------
Who says Strasburg wants to come to DC? ...

Posted by: jsg8 | August 17, 2009 8:26 PM

Posted by: tailwagger | August 17, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

As far as SYR being short; I guess Logan Kensing would be the last guy on that roster if he clears waivers and decides to join AAA Syracuse. He could also opt to be a free agent. I assume that Mike Rizzo is waiting to see how that turns out?

Posted by: periculum | August 17, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

I bet if I were a reporter for the Post and I had a question about why things go the way they go in negotiations, I could find somebody, a GM for another team, an agent, a professor of negotiating at a B school, somebody, who could explain it to me. Because it's not just something that happens with the Nats or baseball.

Posted by: markfromark | August 17, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Tock

Posted by: rucks35 | August 17, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Krikey, Chico, I bet you're the type of guy who started his papers in college as soon as they were assigned.

Nerd.

Posted by: grimesman | August 17, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

I always liked the movie ... Countdown to Midnight ... USS Nimitz nuclear/F18 Hornets versus the Pearl Harbor Japanese attack fleet ... zero's, betty's etc. Darned vortex sucked them back before we could see how that might have turned out ...

Posted by: periculum | August 17, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

>Nationals Park seats 43,888 fans. Attendance would have to be under 11,000 for it to be 3/4 empty. Nice try.

Posted by: BGinVA

How about in the late innings when it counts? It's definitely below 11,000. People come and go because they're 30 games under.500.

Ticket sales do not equal attendance. Especially in this case. But we're not looking backward, are we?

Get in there Lerner>

Posted by: Brue | August 17, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

SI.com says Strasburg turned down $12.5 million offer.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | August 17, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

SS is not going to pass on the Nats tonight in hopes of getting a few million more next year from the Royals, Pirates or Padres (who have to play a lot worse to race to the bottom). If he passes tonight, it's for the Red Sox, Yanks, Angels or Dodgers for $50M as a free agent in November 2010. Can we stop with all the talk about why he doesn't want to play for the Nats?

Posted by: ArlingtonNatsFan | August 17, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Well, duh, of course he did. nobody thinks 12.5 was gonna get it done. The question is, what's the offer NOW, and is he gonna turn it down?

Posted by: swang30 | August 17, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

WOOHOOOO....who's in for the long haul tonight!!! LET'S DO THIS! ARRRGGGHHHHHH!!!! $20 million tops!

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | August 17, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

actually, he becomes a free agent in May 2011.

Posted by: swang30 | August 17, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Who says Strasburg wants to come to DC? Sure, if the Nats will pay him $30 million. Otherwise, why not avoid a dysfunctional team with little hope of reaching the postseason in the foreseeable future and play at home in SD in better weather, in a pitcher's ballpark, in a weaker division for a professionally run franchise

It's no guarantee that San Diego will wind up with the #1 pick. Pittsburgh and Kansas City, and even Baltimore are right there for the worst record in the majors besides the nats and with that the rights to draft Strasburg. If the season ended today, San Diego would have the 5th pick in the draft.

Posted by: stever37 | August 17, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

SIGN STRASBURG OR SELL THE DAMM TEAM YOU CHEAP $#% BASTAR#@ !!!!!!

Posted by: BarackObama | August 17, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Woah, Mr. Boras, Dude. stop making sock puppets to repeatedly say the same thing.

Posted by: swang30 | August 17, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

$9.5 wasn't going to get him. $12.5 is in the range that many thought would get him. $12 to $15 million was the range.

It may be over........

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | August 17, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

The over/under is 18 million - it'll get done.

Posted by: Brue | August 17, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

So you spend 25 to get Strasburg and Crow, as someone suggested above--and neither one gets past AA. There has to be some number that overbalances the risk/reward.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 17, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

$18 million? I'll take the over.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 17, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

We interrupt this draftwatch with an Axe shower gel commercial.
Yeah, it's the same one, but it's WAAAAY better than "SEVEN K'S!!!!"

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 17, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

You don't need a Porsche with quadraphonic blaupunct, you need a curveball!

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 17, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

@periculum: Mike Morse is 6'5", 230lbs. - He hasn't been a 2B since heaven knows when. Why you believe that he'll plug into the Nats' lineup to replace Belli/AGonz is beyond my comprehension.

Also, since you have prodded me from my slumber, and I see no suitcase, I can only assume that you have made other arraingements. With that being said, I am saddened; We could have done business, even made history, but it was not to be.

Posted by: BinM | August 17, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

My last best guess for a contract offer on Strasburg is $15M bonus, $21.5-$25M total on a 5-year deal, based on incentives, including a 40-man roster slot from day one.

Either it gets done by midnight, or it doesn't.

Posted by: BinM | August 17, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse


Diversion: (SFW)
http://tinyurl.com/qo6mwl

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 17, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Diversion: Odds of signing a genuine once-in-a-decade pitcher...
http://tinyurl.com/muxdwc

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 17, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Diversion: statement from Stan Kasten as of 9:45

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 17, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Diversion: Strasburg doesn't sign, Boras advises on options: http://tinyurl.com/mr3ku7

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 17, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

OOOPS. Kasten statement: http://tinyurl.com/ll729h

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 17, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Diversion: Chico checks in. http://tinyurl.com/kuvhsn

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 17, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Diversion: Last one. Add to macro:
http://tinyurl.com/mojj6v

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 17, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

There IS a new post, yanno...

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 17, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

looking good si.com

Stephen Strasburg is close to a deal with the Nationals for $15 million, sources say.
Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/baseball/mlb/08/17/heyman.strasburg/index.html#ixzz0OVJqi62k

Posted by: nativedc | August 18, 2009 12:07 AM | Report abuse

irrationality of bid-bod process? economic warfare is more like warfare than it is like going shopping. egos! stupidity! miscalculations! hurry-up-and-wait! no mud and death but plenty of attempted dominance. no reason million dollar deals should be easy, or rational, or smooth. not while they're being done by humans, anyway...

Posted by: natty-bumppo | August 18, 2009 1:10 AM | Report abuse

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