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