Stephen Strasburg Got Ripped Off

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Sometime just before the stroke of midnight, when San Diego State superstar stud Stephen Strasburg was about to turn into a pumpkin, the Washington Nationals pushed forth an offer decent enough to make Scott Boras fold like a cheap prayer mat. Yep, Strasburg's a Nat:

As was everyone's prediction, the 21-year-old righty from San Diego State inked the richest deal in MLB amateur draft history, nabbing $15.1 million over four years.

Wait, that's it? Just $15 million for the kid who has never issued more than two walks in a single start? Only $15 million for a guy who went 13-1 with a microscopic 1.32 ERA and 195 strikeouts in 105 innings pitched last season? Merely $15 million for a guy whose agent initially asked for $50 million over six years? Strasburg got scammed!

Yeah, $15 million is a new record, surpassing Mark Prior's first contract by 50%. And yes, there is no such thing as a pitching prospect and you have to take risk into account and Strasburg may never even set foot on the mound at Nationals Park in an actual MLB game (which, if you think about it, sounds good to me).

But this low price seems to be either a result of teams controlling costs in the Xtreme Depression, a result of dumb Rob Dibble's stupid blatherings, or, more likely, an effort by Scott Boras to get the deal done at any price and prevent embarrassment for him and his client. I predicted a $20 million deal for Strasburg. Obviously, the Nats saved that extra $5 million to hire a new scoreboard operator.

That prompts two questions: who had more to lose if this deal didn't get done, Boras or Nats owner Stan Kasten? And if the two parties spent the last 60 days with their dicks in their hand and didn't consummate the deal until the last five minutes before the deadline to get the deal done, why not make the deadline for signing five minutes after the draft is over?

(I stole that awesome pencil sketch from jpangan3 on Flickr)

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Strasburg makes a start in Washington in September: book it.

who had more to lose if this deal didn't get done, Boras or Nats owner Stan Kasten?

Clearly the Nats. Even if he "only" got 15 million, Boras can still hang his hat on the fact that this is the single-largest contract in draft history. By failing to sign Strasburg, then Nats would have essentially been telling their fans "well, $12M was a reasonable offer, but another $750k/year was too steep a price to pay to re-energize our fanbase and land the most heralded can't-miss prospect since Phil Nevin."

Hmm, bad example.

Strasburg makes a start in Washington in September: book it.

Book what, a trip? No thanks, Washington in September is still 95 degrees with 99% humidity.

Come on down to DC town. Rob! It's not THAT hot. Really. Promise.


LIAR. My brother in-law lives in Fairfax, and when my wife suggested visiting him Labor Day weekend, I suggested we just stay at home and wear these instead.

We're going anyway.

I live in Fairfax as well!

I think it's time I told you, I AM YOUR BROTHER-IN-LAW.

Come to SF. Foggy, low 60's.
Bring a fleece. And pants.

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