(AP Photo. There he is.)
"It's very frustrating for me, and I can imagine it's frustrating for everybody in here. I can understand how frustrating it is for ownership. I wish they would hurry up and get it done."
(Adam Dunn, via Nationals dot com, 8/16/2009)
It's simple: Yes, or No.
Ultimately, it's the kid's call, right?
Strasburgeddon (hat tip to FJB, who we believe coined the phrase) strikes at midnight. By 12:01 AM, we'll know one way or the other.
We're interested to see the sort of stuff that gets planted in the media throughout the day from both the Boras camp and the Nats. With less than 24 hours to go now, any attempt at guessing the dollar amount on the table from the Nats is probably pointless -- but we wouldn't be surprised if Stan floats the exact number out there in the media today as another negotiation ploy. Buried in an otherwise forgettable post about the Orioles yesterday, MASN's Orioles guy Roch Kubatko reported that his "Sources close to the negotiations" say it's a $17-$20 million deal on the table:
Sources close to the negotiations say the Nats have a $17 million deal on the table for pitcher Stephen Strasburg, with easily attainable incentives that could push it beyond $20 million.
Seems odd that a) this would be buried in an otherwise forgettable post about the Orioles and b) none of the regular Nationals beat guys bothered to touch this. And if Kubatko got an exclusive scoop - you'd think MASN would have that splashed all over its homepage. Nope: nothing. So, we'll throw that one out as nonsense for now.
But ultimately, for Nats fans, the final dollar figure doesn't matter. Stan told us that back in January, remember? Back then, Stan was talking about payroll against the backdrop of the team's failed pursuit of Teixeira in the offseason, during the "Stanifesto" (via Nationals Journal 1/26/2009):
"You don't care what we're paying. You just want him here. I get that."
The same rules apply to Strasburg, and Stan gets that. Nats fans just want him here. We don't care what they have to pay for him.
So, keep your fingers crossed today, NatsTown. Hope for the best, but expect the worst. It's only the future of the franchise hanging in the balance.