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Saturday, May 9, 2009

How high do you go?

So Strasburg throws a no-no in his final home start and Chico (the writer) is on the scene. Can't wait to read his story.

By now, I think we can dispense with the nonsense over whether this kid is the right pick. We can ignore the history of pitchers as high draft picks. Strasburg appears to be a once-a-generation type talent. The Nationals have the top pick. They take him. No question.

Then the fun begins.

How high do you go?

Boras' $50 million noise is absurd. Keep in mind I'm the guy who preaches conservative with draft picks. Load it up on the other end. Make them prove something first. I was in the Nats' corner on the Crow fiasco. They offered him plenty.

This guy is a different case. This guy could be - emphasis on could - an instant difference maker.

I say you offer him $15 mil right on the spot and ask him how soon he can pitch? You're starting Tuesday, you ready?

One thing I need to research. I know the NFL team with the first pick can negotiate with its choice before the draft, actually sign him beforehand I believe. Can you do that in baseball? Can the Nats get this done and get up there and say, "The No. 1 selection - and tonight's starting pitcher - Stephen Strasburg?"

Clearly, it can be done unofficially.

This team can hit. We've seen that. We're loving Martis, we're still in love with J-Z-double-N, we still have faith in Lannan and we think Olsen can be serviceable. The team cannot possibly continue to be as bad on defense as it has been (can it?). Getting another quality starter is huge. Then all offseason efforts can be spent on upgrading the bullpen.

Call me crazy. Call me delusional. Call me drunk too early in the morning. Maybe four victories in five games has me dizzy. But I'm really starting to believe the bridge from suckville to decenttown is shorter than we think.

Sign this kid. Quickly.


An Briosca Mor said...

Yeah sure. Sign him right away, throw him in the rotation immediately, and blow out his arm. He'll be useless for the rest of his life, but think of the tickets they'll sell the rest of this year. It would all be so very worth it, wouldn't it?

Only thing is, they'll need a fancy nickname for him to ensure that his one brilliant year never gets lost in the annals of history. "The Bird" has already been used. Any other ideas?

MikeHarris said...

For starters, I was being somewhat facetious - I don't really expect him to be signed that fast (though) it would be nice.
But, let's say he is somehow and the Nats toss him out there. Why is his arm in any more danger than the arms of Zimmermann or Martis?
He's already thrown close to 100 innings and has been extended to more than 100 pitches multiple times (thanks to the great info on Nats Farm Authority).
His arm should be in pretty good shape.
Do you sign him and not pitch him at all? He'll be pitching somewhere. Is his arm more at risk in the major leagues?

Smart teams are careful with all their arms. But you can't baby them.

As for nicknames, I'll work on that. Money? Triple S (Savior Stephen Strasburg)?

An Briosca Mor said...

We all know he won't be signed until midnight on Aug 15th. That's the way Boras works. So when he signs, he won't have pitched a competitive inning in over two months. You don't throw him out full bore at that point, you gotta bring him back slowly.

MikeHarris said...

Agreed if it takes to Aug. 15. Absolutely.

I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer and don't understand high finance in the least - but isn't it less than smart to wait that long? Get the money working for you earlier and get pitching earlier?

George Templeton said...

It will have to be an 8-figure signing bonus and a major-league contract on day one (ugh!). 6 years, $30 million might be the neighborhood that works.
I hope Strasburg is used in the bullpen for the rest of the season.

Real Baseball Intelligence said...

Real Baseball Intelligence (RBI), a leading resource in the evaluation of amateur baseball talent and draft coverage, has ranked Stephen Strasburg the #1 prospect in the 2009 MLB Draft. View his free scouting report (with video) at

Ryan said...

Draft him. Pay him. Let him work a few weeks in the minors. Bring him up after the all star break.

And since Strasburg is my hometown and my dream is to retire to San Diego one day, I'm obsessed with coming up with his nickname. I'm sure I'll come up with something horrible.