The last we heard from the agent for Nats' 2010 no.1 overall pick Bryce Harper, Scott "Maximum" Boras, was in a section of a long Boston Globe article by Nick Carfado entitled, "Strasburg is a hurler with complete game", in which Mr. Boras was quoted stating that in spite of the fact that '09 no.1 overall pick, pitcher Stephen Strasburg, had signed the biggest contract ever given to a draft pick, in Mr. Boras' opinion, "...quite frankly, we undervalued Stephen,":
"'Right now, we’re seeing something in baseball that’s finally coming to fruition. We’ve seen a player that, prior to reporting to the major league level — and they’re really not of value to you until they perform — has changed the marquee of a franchise, changed the perception of the franchise, added TV ratings, that has added great value.'"
There were echoes of Mr. Boras' comments in Mr. Carfado's article at the end of another report on Harper and the Nats yesterday by SI.com's Jon Heyman...
....entitled, "Best decisions of the past year", which is subtitled, "How much will Harper seek?", where Mr. Heyman repeats the oft-stated fact that the 17-year-old future Nats' right fielder, "...will surely seek a record signing bonus,":
"...the number $12 million is floating in baseball circles, Harper will be aiming quite a bit higher, according to several sources. While Strasburg set a record last year at $15.067 million, he has been a major bargain, and that reality could play into the negotiations even though they are vastly different players of different backgrounds and ages."
Shortly after the Nationals signed Strasburg to a record-setting 4-year/$15.1M dollar deal last August, the Nats' President Stan Kasten told a group of internet reporters that as good as Strasburg seemed at the time he could be, "...one person has never transformed a franchise as a player, never happened, with the possible exception of Babe Ruth." Would Mr. Kasten offer a different opinion seeing the impact Stephen Strasburg has had on the Nationals' national image? Could Boras possibly be in a better negotiating position with a 17-year-old potential superstar who arrives with all the hype that preceded Strasburg's ascent and is seen as another once-in-a-generation talent? Will the Washington Nationals be willing to set a precedent for a position player a year after setting the standard for pitching talent?