• Strasburg, Strasburg, Strasburg!!
Yahoo!Sports.com's Gordon Edes checks in with an article entitled, "Boras, Strasburg will push deadline before signing", in which he prepares readers for Monday's deadline with the background of the pending negotiations between the Nationals, Scott Boras and Stephen Strasburg. ESPN.com's Peter Gammons, the first writer to float the Daisuke Matsuzaka-like contract comparisons, writes about Stephen Strasburg in a post entitled, "Wild Card Still Working Its Magic" where he puts his best guess as to the $ and years Strasburg will receive in print, and FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal's talking Strasburg and the DC GM search in video update entitled, "Rosenthal's Full Count" which starts with Mr. Rosenthal saying:
"This could be the biggest week in Nationals' history. Midnight Monday is the dealine for the team to sign its No. 1 draft pick, right-hander Stephen Strasburg, and as early as Tuesday, the Nats could pick their next general manager. The buzz in scouting circles is that Diamondbacks' executive Jerry DiPoto is the front-runner, but the team has given absolutely no indication of its plans. Mike Rizzo, the "acting" general manager generally has gotten good reviews, he helped change the Nationals' culture, hired Jim Riggleman and, of course, traded for Nyjer Morgan."
So the Nationals are going to sign Strasburg Monday night at a minute before midnight and have their new or (hopefully) fully promoted GM at the press conference to introduce their newly-signed starting pitcher to the world according to Mr. Rosenthal? Mr. Gammons believes...
...Mr. Gammons believes Strasburg will sign, and "so do most baseball people" Mr. Gammons writes, provided, "...negotiations with Scott Boras do not get contentious." Do you think Mr. Gammons wrote that before or after Nationals' team President Stan Kasten told an AP writer, as quoted in an ESPN.com article entitled, "Nats offer Strasburg record contract":
"If (Strasburg) wants to come and begin his career right now -- and do so with the largest contract ever given to any drafted player in the history of Major League Baseball -- we can help him accomplish that,' Kasten told the AP. 'But if this is more about changing the whole way an industry does business, then we won't be able to reach a deal.'"
In addition to Mr. Kasten, the Nationals' Face of the Franchise™ Ryan Zimmerman expressed his own opinions on the Strasburg situation in a Nationals Journal post by Washington Post writer Chico Harlan entitled, "A Few Pre-Game Notes", pulling no punches and expressing the belief that the choice is Strasburg's to make:
"When it comes down to it, Strasburg has to think about, ‘Can I go to bed if I turn down $15, 16 million dollars — whatever it is — to pass up the opportunity to play for these guys?’ That’s a lot of money. I don’t understand what he thinks will be better next year. If we don’t take him, who’s gonna take him next year? Pittsburgh? San Diego? San Diego is not gonna pay him more. Absolutely his leverage will never be higher. Everybody wants to play where they want to play; everybody wants the ideal situation, but that’s not the point of the draft. You can’t tell people where you want to play. At some point, do it like everybody else has already done it. I agree, he’s one of the better college pitchers ever to pitch, but he hasn’t proven anything yet."
Zimmerman's opinion is one of many Stephen Strasburg must be hearing these days, but it's probably the one he should pay the most attention to. ESPN.com's Peter Gammons predicts in his blog post that Strasburg will receive, "Perhaps $22 million for three years, then Boras can go to arbitration for three years and make a deal for $60 to $70 million dollars for six years," which in light of the 5-year/$45 million Ryan Zimmerman got in return for his service isn't too far-fetched, especially considering that it is the first sign the Nationals have given showing they are willing to pay their homegrown talent to stay. Whatever decision Strasburg does make, YahooSports.com's Gordon Edes reminds/warns everyone:
"Strasburg’s decision will come a few minutes before Monday’s midnight deadline, or a few minutes after (wink, wink). Not a moment sooner. As of late Friday night, only 14 of the 32 first-rounders had signed. Sleep will be in very short supply this weekend."
Prepare yourself if you can still bring yourself to watch, it's going to be a very interesting 48 hou...uh, make that 46 hours before we learn Strasburg's decision...
ESPN.com's Baseball Tonight: Strasburg Segment.