• Last Night's Game Report: Reds 7, Nationals 0.
• Aaron Crow Cries Over The Cornfields.
According to ESPN.com's Keith Law, the Kansas City Royals, (who selected the Washington Nationals' unsigned '08 1st Round pick Aaron Crow with the 12th pick of the '09 Draft), have placed a $3.0M dollar offer on the table for the 22-year-old right-hander, formerly of the University of Missouri and the independent Ft. Worth Cats. Former DC GM Jim Bowden told the Washington Post's Chico Harlan, in a Nationals Journal post from August 16th '08 entitled, "More than 3700 words from Jim Bowden on Aaron Crow", that Crow's camp wanted $9 million dollars from the Nationals, and dropped the number to $4.4 million a little more than 15 minutes before last year's midnight deadline, while Washington intially offered $2.1 million and went as high as $3.5 million at the very end. In Mr. Law's opinion, the Royals' offer to Crow, "...is more than generous considering (Crow's) lack of leverage at this point." Crow, according to Mr. Law, believes that offer is, "...not sufficient to get him to sign."...Good luck getting back to that $3.5M you could have had from DC, Mr. Crow.
(Segue: Speaking Of Washington's 1st Round Picks...)
• Strasburg Offer On Table? According to Report...
ESPN.com's Jayson Stark wrote earlier this morning, in an article entitled, "Clock ticking on Strasburg negotiations", that "an official of one AL club" puts the odds at 50/50 of the Washington Nationals reaching an agreement with the number one overall pick in the '09 MLB draft, SDSU pitcher Stephen Strasburg. Mr. Stark's source claims to have based his opinion on what he/she's heard, "...from people who have spoken with Boras, about the negativity (he's) spewing about the Nationals..." over the fact that, in Mr. Stark's words:
"...the Nationals haven't budged at all off their initial offer, believed to be somewhere in the neighborhood of the $9.5 million package the Rangers gave to Mark Teixeira eight long years ago."
The other reasons that Boras is "spewing" negativity about the Nationals? According to ESPN.com's Mr. Stark:
"...the Nationals are a lousy team with no fans and a bleak future." "...Strasburg has tremendous incentive not to sign..." (ed. note - "tremendous incentive = maybe going to SD in 2010 Draft.")
"One reader e-mailed to ask the following question: "What is stopping Washington from manipulating the system, purposely not giving in to [Scott] Boras' demands for [Stephen] Strasburg, getting the No. 2 pick next year as compensation and drafting both Bryce Harper and Strasburg again, leaving Boras with no leverage at all?"
"'...(are) going in the right direction...If you want to keep going in the right direction, you sign your top picks. That's how you get better. That's why the Draft is there. That's why the team with the worst record gets the first pick and the best player. Hopefully, he will make the team better, compete and make the playoffs.'"
Zimmerman's advice for Strasburg?
"'(D.C.'s) a good place to play. I understand that it's a business. You obviously have to get what you think is fair for you. At the same time, you did what you did to sign and you make your real money when you make it [in the big leagues].'"
ZImmerman knows real money...According to MLB.com's Stephanie Storm's August '05 article entitled, "Zimmerman taking short path to Majors", the then-20-year-old infielder was eager to get his career started, so he:
"...quickly signed for $2.975 million because he didn't want to waste any time away from the field haggling over money..."
Zimmerman debuted in the Majors in September '05 and by the beginning of the '06 campaign, he was the Nationals' starting third baseman. In the middle of his 5th season, Zimmerman received the first payoff for his performance, agreeing, as reported by Washington Post writer Chico Harlan in a Nationals Journal post entitled, "The Zimmerman Deal, In Detail", to a 5-year/$45 million dollar deal which will leave him a free agent when he turns 29.
The Nationals' second '09 1st Round pick Drew Storen, taken 10th overall, agreed to sign with the Nationals for a $1.6 million dollar bonus almost immediately after the draft, telling MLB.com's Bill Ladson, as quoted in an article entitled, "Nationals sign reliever Storen", that he made the decision to do so because:
"I want to get going. I miss playing. We missed the playoffs at school. My arm is feeling great," Storen said. "I want to get that chance to help the Nationals this year."
Storen is already 20 games and 26.2 innings into his first professional season, pitching with the Double-AA Harrisburg Senators after brief stops with the Class-A Hagerstown Suns and Potomac Nationals. Storen's (1-1) with a 2.70 ERA thus far, with 38 K's and just 3 walks allowed.
Strasburg...? Last I heard he was getting some traveling done...The next time the fans of the Washington should expect to hear from him is around 11:30-11:45 pm EST on Monday night...
When I was given the opportunity to conduct an email interview with Ryan Zimmerman in advance of his first All-Star selection, I made sure to ask his opinion on Stephen Strasburg and wondered what, if any, advice the Face of the Franchise™ might have for DC's first '09 1st Round pick, Zimmerman's response:
"Strasburg is clearly a very talented pitcher, and one that we hope will pitch with the Nationals for a long, long time. With that said, it’s tough to put such huge pressure/expectations on a young man who has never pitched in professional baseball. However, we believe he has the skill and makeup to be a star for us. We’re all excited to follow his progress and hopefully help our club out sooner rather than later. I will give him a hard time for his only loss coming against my alma mater, the University of Virginia, in the Regionals in Irvine. I’m not going to let him down for that one. Haha."
Get it done, Strasburg...