Stephen Strasburg is the best pitcher in the upcoming draft. He’d have been the best in the last five drafts. Or 10. Or… when was Nolan Ryan drafted? Okay, that’s an exaggeration. Maybe.
So you’d think he’s going first, since people think he’s already a top-level major league pitcher, but oh yes, this is the MLB draft, and
a-holes agents like Scott Boras love pricing their clients out of teams in small markets (and with small payrolls). It was just weeks ago that Washington was saying they wouldn’t draft Strasburg since Boras is going to ask for 70 times the United States’ GDP, but according to FOX SPORTS, that tune has changed:
The Nationals […] will select San Diego State right-hander Stephen Strasburg with the No. 1 pick of the baseball draft, according to sources with knowledge of the team’s thinking.
And while team officials fully expect to sign Strasburg, probably to a record contract for an amateur, they are prepared to accept the consequences if they cannot reach agreement with the pitcher’s advisor, Scott Boras.
The consequences, other than the last 15 Nats fans burning their season tickets in protest, are pretty good. If Washington can’t get a deal made, they’d get the #2 pick next year. Considering how likely it is that they’re going to suck their way to the first pick anyway, having the top two spots in the amateur draft would be a commanding position for the struggling franchise.
There is, of course, one tiny problem with that strategy: Boras can still represent those guys. If that’s the case, well… top 3 picks in 2011! Awright! Up top, Nats fans! But then Boras comes along and picks those guys up, and… you know what, maybe the Nationals greasing their butts up to the tune of a $50 million contract (this is not a joke) is the simplest solution.
And there’s also one other tiny, insignificant, hey let’s not worry about this problem. The player whose record contract Strasburg is about to break? The most heavily lauded and highly paid draft pick? Mark Prior in 2001. But Strasburg can’t possibly be derailed by arm problems! Can’t happen! No way! LALALALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOU.