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Posted at 2:59 PM ET, 12/ 8/2010

Scott Boras talks Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper, Carlos Pena, Adrian Beltre

By Adam Kilgore

The winter meetings aren't the winter meetings until a horde of reporters circles Scott Boras and pelts him with questions. Boras, the super-agent who represents seven players on the Nationals' 40-man roster, answered several pertinent questions about the Nationals.

*Boras said Stephen Strasburg is a month and a half into his rehab from Tommy John surgery out in San Diego, and everything is going well.

Strasburg's spirits are "good," Boras said. "Coming through the surgery and understanding that he's A-OK, and listening to the doctors comment, I think it's turned out where he's on the path of a very solid understanding of his future and where he can go."

Both Boras and the Nationals believe his ulnar collateral ligament snapped because of one unfortunate pitch, that little or nothing could have been done to prevent the surgery. Boras said Strasburg has no personal plans to alter his routine or his mechanics.

"I think we're going to leave the mechanics to the Washington Nationals," Boras said. "There's a lot of things that are said. But we've been through the Tommy John situation with a whole host of pitchers in my career. To suggest that a young thrower with all of that ability, to determine when that occurred or why it occurred, I think it's a difficult [conclusion to make that poor mechanics caused the injury]. Certainly the medical staff has, with the certainty that so many prognosticators have put out there, they're not quite so certain that's the case."

*Boras declined to mention any specifics regarding the Nationals' negotiations with Carlos Pena. He mentioned that the Cubs were of particular interest because they offered him a one-year deal, something Boras termed a "pillow contract" for the opportunity it offered Pena to prove 2010 an aberration. Also, Boras cited Pena's comfort and familiarity with Cubs hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo.

"We've had ongoing discussions with the Nationals," Boras said. "And certainly the Nationals are interested in first base specifically."

*The Nationals received immediate validation for the decision to send first overall pick Bryce Harper, still only 18, to the Arizona Fall League. Most scouts believe he was the best player -- not just the best prospect, but the best player -- in the entire league, which is comprised of the best prospects in baseball.

"Wow," Boras said. "I mean, Bryce's performances are always stunning, because you've got a guy that should be in high school hitting .350 with some power in the Arizona Fall League, where you've got a bunch of veteran, minor-league players and professional athletes at that level. For Bryce, it just continues. He's playing in junior college when he should be playing in junior high school. And he's playing in the Arizona Fall League when he should be a senior in high school. He's an extraordinary talent."

Harper, Manager Jim Riggleman said Monday, will begin spring training with the Nationals' major league camp and receive at-bats against major league teams in exhibition games. "If that's the case, I don't think anything surprises Bryce," Boras said. "He just gets in there and plays."

*Boras was asked if he's spoken to the Nationals about third baseman Adrian Beltre. He declined to answer, but said, "The Nationals are in the business of talking to a lot of players." Well, I can assure you, the Nationals have no interest in Beltre.

By Adam Kilgore  | December 8, 2010; 2:59 PM ET
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Next: Mike Rizzo on pitching, first base searches


I am getting a serious headache from constantly checking for free agent updates...

Posted by: Cartaldo | December 8, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm going cross-eyed and developing trigger finger. But otherwise I'm just dandy.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 8, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

God bless Wil Nieves - he got a ML job!

Who??... ;-)

Posted by: TheBorg | December 8, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I guess Christmas came early for the Nieves family! Good for him!

Posted by: 1of9000 | December 8, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Now Nieves gets the chance to kill the Cubs with his walk off homers 16 times a year. Good luck Wil, we'll miss your at bat music.

Posted by: mojo6 | December 8, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Doh. Make that 8 times a year....

Posted by: mojo6 | December 8, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Best of luck to Nieves. The guy is a trooper and he always played hard, but, I am not going to miss that guy calling 8 sliders in a row in the late innings game after game.

Posted by: dfh21 | December 8, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

I am getting a serious headache from constantly checking for free agent updates...

Posted by: Cartaldo | December 8, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm going cross-eyed and developing trigger finger. But otherwise I'm just dandy.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 8, 2010 4:32 PM
I'm getting carpal tunnel syndrome. Can I sue the Lerners for it? I hear they have a lot of money.

Happy for Wil. If Albert Haynesworth had his attitude, the Redskins would have sewn up their division already.

Posted by: gilbertbp | December 8, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Adrian Beltre might be the Nats starting 1st basemen next year and that might be awesome.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | December 8, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

already shot down, petey. "no way, nohow. didn't even discuss it"

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 8, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Adam Kilgore has a better chance at being the Nats 1B next year than Adrian Beltre.

Posted by: dfh21 | December 8, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Hi, Washington Post, how about some corrective usage to accompany much-improved offseason coverage? the entire league, which COMPRISES the best prospects in baseball.

Posted by: MGori | December 8, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Put Harper at first base. Or, give him the starting nod a catcher and move Flores to 1st base. Can Werth catch? Maybe Harper can play left field?

Posted by: fischy | December 9, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Bryce Harper should be the Nats' centerfielder by September 2011 or April 2012 - he's got all the tools and seems to have the work habits to go w/ them - N. Morgan is a stop-gap at best - hopefully Espinosa can gradually take over lead off spot.
PS. Pavano is a mistake - get a deal for Z. Greinke - same numbers as C.Lee over last two years, w/out the age and bad back.

Posted by: artguydtd | December 10, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Think Jim edmunds / Josh Hamilton / even the Mick I think Harper could be in that company.

Posted by: artguydtd | December 10, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

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