Deadline Looms for Nats and Strasburg
Good Friday morning DC Sports fans, this is the opening bell for Stras-watch here in the District. While the club will struggle in Cincinnati trying to take a few off the Reds this weekend, the front office is likely beating its head against and even harder to do (and certainly more costly) task-signing #1 draft pick over all Stephen Strasburg. The deadline for signing picks is End of the Day Monday, and while the Nats don’t play that day they will certainly finish either winners or losers.
The problem seems to be on the player/agent side, and not on the club. Although all signs seem to point to the Nationals willingness to pay Astronomical money for the prospect, Scott Boras and said prospect are holding out for “Ludicrous Speed” type money. This comes out smart on both sides of the ball-Pitchers are notoriously easy to completely miss on-and even though he’s been hailed as the best pitching prospect since Kerry Wood or Mark Prior…well look what happened to Kerry Wood and Mark Prior. So Stras is smart to want his money up front, and the Nationals are right not to give everything over to this guy.
I agree with Zimmerman’s comments in that this is the kind of guy the club needs to sign. The problem seems to be the Nationals have made a habit of biting off a bit more than they can chew lately. You have to applaud the gusto it takes to try sign a guy like Mark Teixeira or to not take a pass on the #1 pick and shoot for the stars-but there is clearly something rotten in the Nations Capitol, and the Major League ball players can smell it. The really great players want to go to the really great teams, and not just ones that are willing to pay. And yet, the Nationals cannot get better quickly without signing at least a few of those really big players-even draft picks.
Most people seem to think he will sign sometime late Monday. Really, the Strasburg’s signing will hinge on whether he wants to play this year or not-and I would guess (with no real information at all, of course) that he does. Going back to school, or playing independent ball is not going to pay anything and risk injury. Even slightly less than you want is better than nothing, and Boras and Strasburg have to know that.
Hopefully Tuesday night’s game against the Rockies will not just be a welcome home for the Nationals, but also welcome to the Nationals for Mr. Strasburg.