Memo to Ted Lerner: Please start saving your pennies.
Be warned Nationals fans: The Aaron Crow Debacle hurt. And (at least at the time) getting burned in the Mark Teixeira Sweepstakes back in December felt every bit as painful. But what Scott Boras has in store for Stephen Strasburg could be pure hell.
Some club officials think that if Washington takes San Diego State pitcher Stephen Strasburg with the first overall pick, Boras will ask for Daisuke Matsuzaka money (six years, approximately $50M) or take him to Japan for a year, a threat that may scare Stan Kasten into selecting a lesser prospect.
We all knew what we were getting when the Strasburg Watch began in earnest last summer while the Nationals chased down the worst record in baseball. And after sealing up the #1 pick in 2009 with loss #102 in 2008, we started to prepare ourselves for reality (via The Nationals Enquirer 9/28/2008):
Hello, Stephen Strasburg! Next question: will the cheapskate, penny-pinching, tight-fisted Lerner Family pay Scott Boras' obscene ransom for the services of Strasburg? The only acceptable answer is: Yes.
All kidding about the cheapskate owners aside, the question is: if Boras signals before the draft that the price for Strasburg will be completely insane and unreasonable -- is the only acceptable answer to draft him, and prepare to go toe to toe with The Devil Himself? Will the Nats really consider looking elsewhere if they believe the price for Strasburg will be too high?
Is the only acceptable answer for the Nationals: Strasburg?
Meanwhile, just thinking about a 2010 rotation led by Strasburg, Lannan, and Zimmermann makes you wish you could simply push the fast-forward button on 2009, doesn't it?