Blog Entry

Nationals sign Strasburg

Posted on: August 18, 2009 12:08 am
Edited on: August 18, 2009 1:22 am
 

Desperate for both talented players and good news, the Washington Nationals got a welcome dose of both late Monday night by agreeing to terms with their No. 1 pick, pitcher Stephen Strasburg, on a major league deal worth $15.67 million, CBSSports.com has learned.

It is a record contract for a draft pick, for more guaranteed money than the $10.5, five-year deal pitcher Mark Prior received from the Chicago Cubs following the 2001 draft. Prior was chosen No. 2 overall that year, behind Minnesota's Joe Mauer.

Washington's deal with Strasburg came just minutes before Monday's midnight EDT deadline following several weeks of a public standoff that gave every indication it would keep the participants on edge until the very end. Mike Rizzo, the Nationals' interim general manager, said that the two sides agreed to the deal at "11:58 and 43 seconds."

Rizzo, who called it a "great day for the Nationals franchise", said on a post-midnight conference call that the negotiations were "an amicable but anxious time."

"We were optimistic for the most part," Rizzo said. "We knew Stephen Strasburg really wanted to play professional baseball and be a member of the Washington Nationals."

The deal is a clear win-win situation for both sides.

Washington is desperate to add talented players to its organization, and Strasburg, from San Diego State, is considered the best pitching prospect in the history of the draft, which started in 1965.

The Nationals were widely viewed to have bungled negotiations with their No. 1 pick last year, pitcher Aaron Crow. They lost rights to Crow when they didn't sign him. Kansas City drafted Crow, represented by Randy and Alan Hendricks, in June and he remains unsigned.

Rizzo called the Strasburg negotiations and last year's Crow talks "mutually exclusive."

As for Strasburg, he said, "Not signing Stephen Strasburg would have been very unfortunate for the Washington Nationals. He is an extremely gifted starting pitcher and has a chance to be a front-of-the-rotation guy. Whenever you lose talent like that, it leaves a hole in your organization."

The Nationals also suffered a huge blow last week when one of their top pitching prospects, Jordan Zimmermann, came up with a damaged elbow. Zimmermann, who was 3-5 with a 4.63 ERA in 16 starts for the Nationals this season, will undergo Tommy John ligament transfer surgery and will be sidelined for a year or more.

The right-handed Strasburg, who was 13-1 with a 1.32 ERA and 195 strikeouts for San Diego State this season, receives a record deal and will begin his professional career now rather than sit out like Crow. Had he not signed, Strasburg could have gone back to SDSU for his senior season, signed with an independent-league team or even, perhaps, gone to play in Japan.

He would have been viewed as a pariah in Washington for turning down a record offer and, worst-case, could have gotten hurt before next year's draft.

As things stand now, Nationals president Stan Kasten says Strasburg could pitch in the Arizona Fall League this fall, spend next spring in the major-league camp and, conceivably, be on the opening day roster in 2010. As for how quickly the Nats will get him moving, Rizzo noted that he hasn't pitched since May 28 and said that the club will evaluate where he's at and come up with a plan.

The Nats can use the help, if Strasburg is as good as advertised and develops as quickly as some scouts think he can. At 43-74, they're on pace for a second consecutive 100-loss season.

"We don't view Stephen Strasburg as the savior of the organization," Rizzo said. "He's just another very bright young star we have in the fold. We're very well endowed with young starting pitchers, and he might be at the top of the group."

Lots of folks think he immediately heads to the front of that group.

"Is he ready for the majors?" one major league scout said in April, repeating a question I asked when doing this piece on Strasburg. "That's tough. I look at him and I look at what's out there. Justin Verlander, Felix Hernandez ... he's got better stuff. There's nothing like him in the country, I'll tell you that."

The Nationals, and the rest of us, are about to find out.


Comments

Since: Sep 24, 2007
Posted on: August 18, 2009 12:51 am
 

Nationals sign Strasburg

Much of the commentary posted here is accurate in one respect; without a rookie cap draftees have far more leverage in negotiations since teams are loathe to effectively forfeit a high draft pick. However, In many of these posts I sense some class resentment that is peculiar and unjustified. Pro ball players earn their high salaries because they have skills that are rare and highly valued by the viewing public. Elite pitching talent like Strasborg's is especially rare, and so warrants a record deal even for a mere prospect ( he averaged someting absurd like 18 K's per 9 innings last year). Strasborg's deal came in at about what many observers evaluated as his fair market value, which means this is a good deal for both sides. Congratulations to the Nationals for getting this done; failing to ink Strasborg after last year's debacle would have been an even worse embarrassment.


redskiiinsfan
Since: Apr 27, 2009
Posted on: August 18, 2009 12:50 am
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Since: Aug 18, 2009
Posted on: August 18, 2009 12:48 am
 

Nationals sign Strasburg

Grow up! You would try and get the most money for yourself and your family too. That is if you had any talent at all. Do you think the poor Nats owner is gonna have to take loan out to pay Strasburg? He'll just jack up his prices again, Clown!



Since: Mar 27, 2008
Posted on: August 18, 2009 12:46 am
 

Nationals sign Strasburg

get over ya crying biatch and go back to installing cable dork



Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: August 18, 2009 12:41 am
 

Nationals sign Strasburg

Sort of a Bob Feller, though I think Feller at age 17 had more polish. Bob Feller.....wow........to be even talked about in the same sentence as that man respecting a youthful big league arrival is something cause NOBODY srrived like Bullet Bob. Like a Bullet of course ...



Since: Jul 6, 2009
Posted on: August 18, 2009 12:41 am
 

Nationals sign Strasburg

All Strasburg did was prove he is a good american.  Owners want the best players to play in the best stadiums that have the best sightlines and luxury boxes. Fans want the Best team for the best price and want to eat the best food while watching the game. This being true, why shouldn't players have the best agent!



Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: August 18, 2009 12:41 am
 

Nationals sign Strasburg

What is interesting is how Scott Boras was how he was "unofficially" guiding Strasburg prior to him finishing his college eligibility, so as not to lose his amateur status than strings it to the 11th hour to sign for $15 million bonus, which is an incredible amount for someone who was a really a late bloomer in college.  But let be real, he doesn't really take his team to the College World Series for they get eliminated in the first round and might wind up being another bust such as Prior, Van Poppel and the list can goes on.  Scott Boras didn't want to lose out any money this year based on economic reason, wasn't he talking about how they would be looking for something is the area of $45-$50 million...hmmmm a few months back. 

I strongly support a Salary Cap for unproven fraft picks and pay the more seasoned players after they've proven themselves at the major league level after a couple of years.  I wonder who is running the asylum now the agents like Boras who is like some blood sucking vulture.  When will the madness end!!!!!!



Since: Apr 5, 2008
Posted on: August 18, 2009 12:41 am
 

Nationals sign Strasburg

He's gonna end up having Stephen Strasburg surgery,  when his arm explodes of course.


redskiiinsfan
Since: Apr 27, 2009
Posted on: August 18, 2009 12:40 am
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Since: Aug 15, 2006
Posted on: August 18, 2009 12:37 am
 

Nationals sign Strasburg

Moron, moron


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