The Washington Nationals' '09 Roster: Can Dmitri Young Do It? Is Scott Boras Serious About Stephen Strasburg?

Dmitri Young...

It was reported that the normally affable Dmitri Young met with the DC media earlier this Spring and politely informed each of them that he wouldn't be speaking to them while he worked his way back onto the Washington Nationals' roster. DY knows adversity, in his personal, and in what concerns us here, his professional life, having worked his way back to baseball once before, with the assistance of the Former DC GM Jim Bowden, who extended a hand to Young late in the '07 offseason after he'd been released by the playoff-bound Detroit Tigers the previous September.

It was another handshake that the Former DC GM and DY shared that came out in the papers and caused a minor uproar in the Natosphere once it was announced that Dmitri would be added to the Nationals' 40-Man Roster last week. Apparently, the Former DC GM had promised DY that he would bring him back from Triple-A, (where Young had been placed just before the last Rule 5 Draft, ostensibly, so that someone else could be protected), if Young accepted the temporary demotion.

Washington Post writer Chico Harlan reported, in a Nationals Journal post entitled, "Nats Win, Astronauts Return, Dmitri Speaks", that, (in Mr. Harlan's words), DY, "...was thankful that Mike Rizzo and Stan Kasten were treating him with the same respect that Jim Bowden always had," and when asked if he thought he could make it as a bat off the bench, DY responded simply, "...the career that I've had, I can hit -- flat-out hit."

DY started his MLB career playing 1st with the Cardinals back in 1996, he's played the outfield, hit as high as .320 in a full campaign just two years ago, collected 301 doubles and 171 HR's in 1,364 games over 13 seasons in the Majors, and come back time and time again, overcoming any obstacles that have kept him off the field, and even managing to win the Comeback Player of the Year award while earning his second All-Star appearance as the Nationals' lone representative in 2007, in what was arguably the second-best season of his career...Can DY do it? Can Dmitri Young make the Nationals' roster? Do you dare doubt DY?

Wagner...

Washington Times' writer Mark Zuckerman counted the Nationals' roster down to 36 as he reported, in an article entitled, "Wagner re-assigned to minors", on DC reliever Ryan Wagner's being re-assigned, "most likely" Mr. Zuckerman writes, "...to Class AAA Syracuse." (ed. note - "Mr. Zuckerman with the old-school 'AAA', nice, no 'Triple-A'...") Wagner, acquired by the Former DC GM along with Austin Kearns and Felipe Lopez in a July'06 deal that sent Gary Majewski, Brendan Harris, Bill Bray, Royce Clayton and Daryl Thompson to the Reds, was attempting to win a spot as he worked his way back from shoulder surgery, but Wagner allowed 6 hits, 4 runs and 2 walks in 7.0 IP this Spring before receiving the news. Felipe Lopez is long gone. Austin Kearns is on the market. Wily Mo Pena's been placed on waivers...Just sayin'...

GAME THREAD...

It's the Tigers again today, but this time it's in Detroit's Florida home, Joker Marchant Stadium in sunny Lakeland, Florida, and the Washington Nationals are throwing '05 12th Round pick, 25-year-old right-hander Craig Stammen, who played at three-levels of the Nationals' system last season, though he struggled at Triple AAA Columbus giving up 35 runs in 43.0 innings with the Clippers. Stammen is set to face the Tigers' prize prospect Rick Porcell--...speaking of pitching prospects...

STRASBURG FILES...

Sports Illustrated writer Jon Heyman, at SI.com, goes with the title, "THE $50 Million Man?" (ed. note - "At least he made it interrogative...") and then starts his article on the projected #1 overall pick in the 2009 MLB Draft by writing:

"That $50 million figure that's being attached to ballyhooed college-pitching prospect Stephen Strasburg is no joke. Baseball people who have spoken to Strasburg's adviser Scott Boras say they believe that's the figure Boras has in mind for Strasburg, the San Diego State pitcher some are calling a once-in-a-decade talent."

That number isn't inventing itself, that's for sure. The 6-year/$50M dollar Daisuke Matsuzaka-like contract was first mentioned by ESPN's Peter Gammons in a 3/21/09 article at Mr. Gammons' ESPN.com blog, entitled, "Trade to A's was best thing for Holliday", in which he wrote:

"'...some club officials think that if Washington takes San Diego State pitcher Stephen Strasburg with the first overall pick, Boras will ask for Daisuke Matsuzaka money (six years, approximately $50 million) or take him to Japan for a year, a threat that may scare Stan Kasten into selecting a lesser prospect."

Mr. Heyman mentions Mr. Gammons article, and notes that the 6Yr./$50M dollar price tag, "...seemed fanciful when it was first thrown out there. But apparently it's deadly serious," and while Mr. Heyman points to contentious negotiations in the past between Nationals' team President Stan Kasten and Scott Boras, he also mentions:

"...Mike Rizzo, who's now handling interim GM duties for Washington and personally has experienced success drafting Boras clients as Arizona's scouting director (Stephen Drew, Max Scherzer)."

Strasburg's next start comes in Petco Park, this Friday, April 3rd, as sdsuaztec4 wrote and reported in ending his last Strasburg report here at federalbaseball.com entitled, "The Strasburg Files: Episode 4- The dreaded BS, ND", "Next Game Stephen will pitch is April 3rd at PETCO park versus UC Davis. Be there or be from the East Coast!"

Game Time 1:05 pm EST from Joker Marchant. Stammen vs Porcello? Who's Following The Nationals?

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