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Washington Nationals: 2010 Draft Update: Bryce Harper And Stephen Strasburg...Twice In A Generation.

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In a 3/21/09 article entitled, "Trade to A's was best thing for Holliday",'s Peter Gammons, then with ESPN, was the first writer to float the notion that Super Agent Scott Boras and his top client heading into the 2009 MLB First-Year Player Draft, SDSU Aztec right-hander Stephen Strasburg, would be seeking a "Daisuke-Matsuzaka-like" 5-year/$60M dollar deal from the Washington Nationals if the Nats were to take the then-20-year-old starter, who was being hyped as a once-in-a-generation-type talent, with the no.1 overall pick in last June's Draft. A week or so after Mr. Gammons first quoted his source's estimation of what the top pitching prospect in years and his agent would want,'s Jon Heyman started an article on Strasburg entitled, "Projected No. 1 pick Strasburg's $50 million figure and much more ", by writing that, "That $50 million figure that's being attached to ballyhooed college-pitching prospect Stephen Strasburg is no joke." As the source for his claims, Mr. Heyman cited, "Baseball people who have spoken to Strasburg's adviser Scott Boras," who, "...say they believe that's the figure Boras has in mind for Strasburg." 

After the draft, when Strasburg and the Nats agreed to a 4-year/$15.1M dollar Major League contract, Scott Boras told's Danny Simmons, in an interview posted under the title, "Scott Boras On Strasburg, Tate", (whether you believe him or the writers who made the initial reports and their sources), that though, "...there (were) reports out that we wanted $50 million dollars...I can assure you, our first offer was well less than half of that." Now, with the 2010 Draft a little over a month away,'s Jon Heyman's back once again, writing in an article entitled, "Top prospect Harper likely to seek record-setting signing bonus", that, "Word going around the game," is that the presumptive no.1 overall pick for this year's draft, the College of Southern Nevada Coyotes' 17-year-old catcher Bryce Harper:

"...who is being advised by Scott Boras, will seek to break last year's record $15.67 million bonus set by Stephen Strasburg after Harper is selected at or near the top of next month's draft."

Mr. Heyman references last year's Strasburg "scuttlebutt" in yesterday's article on Harper, and still claims, as he writes, that, "...Boras was believed to have drawn a comparison between Strasburg and Matsuzaka in talks with the Nationals," but who knows. Do the Nationals trust Harper's coach, Tim Chambers, who tells's Byron Kerr, in an article entitled, "Bryce Harper's Coach: "He is a good all around kid", that in spite of recent reports to the contrary, "Bryce is a good all around kid. He has a little swagger, absolutely. We got a pretty good team..." or the report by Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein entitled, "Future Shock: Bryce Harper", which quoted, "One scout," who:

"...called [Harper] among the worst amateur players he's ever seen from a makeup standpoint, with top-of-the-scale arrogance, a disturbingly large sense of entitlement, and on-field behavior that includes taunting opponents."

Mr. Goldstein defended his story, which has been countered by a number of writers at this point, writing on Twitter, (@Kevin_Goldstein):

"Wow, I guess all my sources were just making stuff up...sorry for reporting what I hear..."

The Nationals, for their part, or at least Nats' team President Stan Kasten, reportedly texted Mr. Law about the Nationals' plans for the draft,, as Mr. Law quotes him in the article, texting, "...that it's 'too early'' to say who they're taking No. 1." Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore writes tonight, however, in a Nationals Journal post entitled, "Mike Rizzo scouts, meets Bryce Harper", that the Nationals' Director of Amateur Scouting Kris Kline has, "...absolutely no problems with the kid's makeup. He's a great kid," and though Mr. Rizzo did see him play this past weekend, Mr. Kline's quoted stating, "...the Nationals have winnowed their options for the first choice to three or four players, with Harper among the group."

If there's one thing Nats fans learned this winter, it's that nothing comes out of Kasten and Rizzo's front office that the Nationals don't want out's Boras' angle I'm still trying to make sense of the second time around...