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jojo
03-22-2009, 01:04 PM
This is a simple poll but hopefully it can generate some interesting discussion on pitching and pitching prospects etc.

Strasburg is simply destroying the NCAA (34 1/3 IP, 7 BB, 74 K; K/9= 19.4, BB/9= 1.8, K/BB= 10.6). His agent (Scott Boras) is building the case that Strasburg isn't a normal pitcher entering the draft but rather he's a finished product much like Dice K. Boras is hinting that signing Strasburg will take a major league contract (obviously I guess since Strasburg might not pitch much in the minors) worth.....get ready for this...........$50M!!!!!!!!

The poll is simple- if the Reds had the Nats' pick, would you draft Strasburg given the contract it will take to sign him will destroy slot in ways that Godzilla could only dream of decimating Tokyo (even if it's not quite $50M in the end)?

RedsManRick
03-22-2009, 01:37 PM
Boras always -- ALWAYS -- comes out with some ridiculous number way in advance of the negotiating period and pairs it with a threat that his client will go elsewhere if he doesn't get it. This is how he works. It's all the act of setting the stage to maximize the number his client eventually gets. The Manny situation is a perfect example. He knew the market was small and that Manny wasn't going to get 4/100. But he put it out there anyways and worked his butt off squeezing out every drop of leverage he had. It only played out the way it did because he finally came up against a GM who was willing to play chicken long enough.

At the end of the day, there's no way an amateur pitcher turns down a $20-25M major league contract (what I think he'll get), pushing back his eventual massive free agency pay day a year, to go pitch overseas -- risking injury in the process.

If I'm the Reds, the first thing I do is make the decision whether or not I think the threat is real or a bluff. As stated above, I think it's a bluff, I draft him and take him down to the wire, paying him up to the $$ my evaluations say he's likely to produce.

jojo
03-22-2009, 01:45 PM
Boras always -- ALWAYS -- comes out with some ridiculous number way in advance of the negotiating period and pairs it with a threat that his client will go elsewhere if he doesn't get it. This is how he works. It's all the act of setting the stage to maximize the number his client eventually gets. The Manny situation is a perfect example. He knew the market was small and that Manny wasn't going to get 4/100. But he put it out there anyways and worked his butt off squeezing out every drop of leverage he had. It only played out the way it did because he finally came up against a GM who was willing to play chicken long enough.

At the end of the day, there's no way an amateur pitcher turns down a $20-25M major league contract (what I think he'll get), pushing back his eventual massive free agency pay day a year, to go pitch overseas -- risking injury in the process.

If I'm the Reds, the first thing I do is make the decision whether or not I think the threat is real or a bluff. As stated above, I think it's a bluff, I draft him and take him down to the wire, paying him up to the $$ my evaluations say he's likely to produce.

If you're the Reds though do you think hard about taking Green at #1 instead given their organizational black hole at short and the Boras drama with Strasburg as part of the mix? Green is likely to be an elite player on a fast track too (though not as fast as Strasburg).

GIDP
03-22-2009, 02:32 PM
You draft him and attempt to sign him. There is no reason to pass him up. The money might be a problem but you simply just dont pass on that arm.

How many guys pass up signing as a high 1st and end up getting more money in the long run?

dougdirt
03-22-2009, 02:45 PM
There is no way I pay him more than $15M. Absolutely no chance. Mark Prior is the previous high deal and he got 10.5M and I would make an argument that Prior was better if not at least as good as Strasburg as Juniors.

GIDP
03-22-2009, 02:52 PM
Didn't Rick Porcello get more?

Anyone have a mechanics scouting report? The video I have seen he has a little bit of the inverted w going on which could be a pretty big problem.

jojo
03-22-2009, 02:57 PM
There is no way I pay him more than $15M. Absolutely no chance. Mark Prior is the previous high deal and he got 10.5M and I would make an argument that Prior was better if not at least as good as Strasburg as Juniors.

I think Rick's estimate is probably a good one. Strasburg's contract is going to require a big gulp even if it ends up being half of Boras' rhetoric.

dougdirt
03-22-2009, 02:58 PM
Didn't Rick Porcello get more?

Anyone have a mechanics scouting report? The video I have seen he has a little bit of the inverted w going on which could be a pretty big problem.

Porcello got 7 something. David Price could technically get 11.5 Million depending on the time he spends in the majors. There are some people who are concerned with his mechanics though.

dougdirt
03-22-2009, 02:59 PM
I think Rick's estimate is probably a good one. Strasburg's contract is going to require a big gulp even if it ends up being half of Boras' rhetoric.

I let someone else take that chance if that is the kind of money he is willing to actually sign for. It defeats the entire purpose of the draft and prearbitration years being cheap.

GIDP
03-22-2009, 03:03 PM
Porcello got 7 something. David Price could technically get 11.5 Million depending on the time he spends in the majors. There are some people who are concerned with his mechanics though.

I thought Porcello got 11 something also but thats probably the same thing about Prices contract.

Yea I just read the driveline mechanics piece on Strasburg and he is pretty down on him and says he reminds him of Mark Prior a lot. Not a good sign.

dougdirt
03-22-2009, 03:10 PM
I thought Porcello got 11 something also but thats probably the same thing about Prices contract.

Yea I just read the driveline mechanics piece on Strasburg and he is pretty down on him and says he reminds him of Mark Prior a lot. Not a good sign.

Prior was more of an inverted W thing. Strasburg isn't really, he loads behind his back unlike Prior who loaded above his shoulders. Still, the action that Strasburg uses to load behind his back is not smooth in any fashion.

TheNext44
03-22-2009, 03:13 PM
Given the economy, there is no way a team should invest significant money in a pitcher, especially one that has never pitched professionally.

Remember the whole crazy bonus money started with the Yankees giving over $1M to Brien Taylor, who never saw the majors. Granted, Taylor was a HS pitcher, but Prior is a perfect example of a can't miss college pitcher who missed. Baseball history is littered with them.

Also, Boras gets close to the crazy gauntlet setting number that he sets at the beginning of negotiations more often than not. Look at A-Rod and Zito, and if you want draft examples, look at J.D. Drew, Jason Varitek, Matt Weiters and Pedro Alveraz. Boras did not bluff with Drew and Varitek.

Boras is not bluffing with Strasburg. Boras is evil and I mean that literally. He has no problem putting Strasburg's career in jeopardy if he thinks it would make him, Boras, more money in the long run.

Considering how many teams Boras has pissed off lately, I could see no one drafting Strasburg and him going to Japan.

EDIT: I do think that if he could be had for a long term $25M contract, he's not a bad investment or risk. But I just don't see Boras settling for that. He needs to prove that he still can get what he asks for in this ecomomy to feed his ego.

jojo
03-22-2009, 03:15 PM
If Strasburg can make it to the majors in year one, basically a $25M contract would equate to $4M a year. Lets say he "only" turns into Tim Linceum (obviously thats not exactly a worse case scenario). Is that worth $4M a year? It's still a steal really. I bet the Giants wish Lincecum would be willing to sign for something like that.

I think at issue is the estimate of his true skill level (i.e. how well/quickly will his college numbers translate). When posing the poll, I was wondering what the minor league gurus here thought about that kind of stuff.

GIDP
03-22-2009, 03:17 PM
Prior was more of an inverted W thing. Strasburg isn't really, he loads behind his back unlike Prior who loaded above his shoulders. Still, the action that Strasburg uses to load behind his back is not smooth in any fashion.

Yea I keep reading and there are videos and photos of him doing the Inverted W and the behind the back one. Its not as extreme as Prior when he does do it though. He certainly is putting some extra strain somewhere in his arm most of the time.

Comps I've read is Prior, and Smoltz. It's hard to like what he does for sure though.

GIDP
03-22-2009, 03:21 PM
Given the economy, there is no way a team should invest significant money in a pitcher, especially one that has never pitched professionally.

Remember the whole crazy bonus money started with the Yankees giving over $1M to Brien Taylor, who never saw the majors. Granted, Taylor was a HS pitcher, but Prior is a perfect example of a can't miss college pitcher who missed. Baseball history is littered with them.

Also, Boras gets close to the crazy gauntlet setting number that he sets at the beginning of negotiations more often than not. Look at A-Rod and Zito, and if you want draft examples, look at J.D. Drew, Jason Varitek, Matt Weiters and Pedro Alveraz. Boras did not bluff with Drew and Varitek.

Boras is not bluffing with Strasburg. Boras is evil and I mean that literally. He has no problem putting Strasburg's career in jeopardy if he thinks it would make him, Boras, more money in the long run.

Considering how many teams Boras has pissed off lately, I could see no one drafting Strasburg and him going to Japan.

Someone in the top 5 will draft him with out a doubt. If he doesnt sign he will regret it for sure. Hes not going to get more or much more money 1 year removed from the draft.

Which reminds me I cant wait to see where Aaron Crow goes this year.

TheNext44
03-22-2009, 03:31 PM
Someone in the top 5 will draft him with out a doubt. If he doesnt sign he will regret it for sure. Hes not going to get more or much more money 1 year removed from the draft.

Which reminds me I cant wait to see where Aaron Crow goes this year.

You are right, someone will draft him. Just not sure someone will sign him.

And you are right, he will regret not signing if he doesn't. However, that will not deter Boras from advising him to do so, if Boras thinks he (Boras) will benefit from it. Holding out might help Boras' rep, or he might think it will.

dougdirt
03-22-2009, 03:33 PM
If Strasburg can make it to the majors in year one, basically a $25M contract would equate to $4M a year. Lets say he "only" turns into Tim Linceum (obviously thats not exactly a worse case scenario). Is that worth $4M a year? It's still a steal really. I bet the Giants wish Lincecum would be willing to sign for something like that.

I think at issue is the estimate of his true skill level (i.e. how well/quickly will his college numbers translate). When posing the poll, I was wondering what the minor league gurus here thought about that kind of stuff.

Sure its 'worth' it. But its really basically saying 'My guy is better than the system, so we don't want to follow it so screw you!'. The system is in place and they are throwing numbers around that basically tell MLB teams that they can shove it somewhere because they are to good for the system and he wants to go directly to arbitration type numbers without any of the cheap years. Sorry, no player is worth that.

RedsManRick
03-22-2009, 03:42 PM
In my mind this is one of those issues where you have to focus on talent. If he pans out, he's a bargain at $15M or $25M. If he doesn't, he's a waste of the money in either case. But there's no way you can possibly acquire that ceiling in free agency or in a trade.

I'm not a scout, so I won't begin to profess whether or not Strasburg is really as good as they say he is. But if my scouts were telling me that he's the best pitching prospect of the last decade, and I've made the assessment that he's going to sign, I'm making the investment to get him.

Again, I think the payday, be it $15M or $50M is too big for him to pass up. Obviously it will go down to the wire -- but he'll sign. The cases where the player doesn't sign are when he stands to get a much bigger payday by waiting -- and I just don't see a bigger payday down the line by having him go dominate overseas for a year (at least not big enough of one to justify the risk).

dougdirt
03-22-2009, 03:44 PM
In my mind this is one of those issues where you have to focus on talent. If he pans out, he's a bargain at $15M or $25M. If he doesn't, he's a waste of the money in either case. But there's no way you can possibly acquire that ceiling in free agency or in a trade.

I'm not a scout, so I won't begin to profess whether or not Strasburg is really as good as they say he is. But if my scouts were telling me that he's the best pitching prospect of the last decade, I'm making the investment to get him.

He very well could be that type of guy. Are you going to more than double the signing bonus record for that though? What does that do to the entire draft? What does a very polished but less upside college pitcher do the next year, demand 10 million because he is a bargain for a solid #3 pitcher? This is a very slippery slope that we could be going down with the draft if something like 20-30 million is actually being talked about for a draft pick.

GIDP
03-22-2009, 03:45 PM
You are right, someone will draft him. Just not sure someone will sign him.

And you are right, he will regret not signing if he doesn't. However, that will not deter Boras from advising him to do so, if Boras thinks he (Boras) will benefit from it. Holding out might help Boras' rep, or he might think it will.

Who was the last 1st round client of Boras not to sign?

RedsManRick
03-22-2009, 03:46 PM
He very well could be that type of guy. Are you going to more than double the signing bonus record for that though? What does that do to the entire draft? What does a very polished but less upside college pitcher do the next year, demand 10 million because he is a bargain for a solid #3 pitcher? This is a very slippery slope that we could be going down with the draft if something like 20-30 million is actually being talked about for a draft pick.

Who cares about double the signing bonus record. The rest of the draft isn't striking out 16 per 9 and putting up a 10:1 K/BB ratio. The reality is that the draft is still a massive bargain to what guys get in free agency. If I were a team like the Reds, I'd be much more focused on acquiring as much talent as possible within my budget and let the market sort out how much of that total available cash goes to amateurs versus "proven veterans". Acquire the most talent you can for your money and the let the market equilibrium settle where it may.

dougdirt
03-22-2009, 03:52 PM
Who cares about double the signing bonus record. The rest of the draft isn't striking out 16 per 9 and putting up a 10:1 K/BB ratio. The reality is that the draft is still a massive bargain to what guys get in free agency. If I were a team like the Reds, I'd be much more focused on acquiring as much talent as possible within my budget and let the market sort out how much of that total available cash goes to amateurs versus "proven veterans". Acquire the most talent you can for your money and the let the market equilibrium settle where it may.

You are thinking from the REDS perspective. Think about it from all of baseball's perspective Rick. Its a terrible thing for the draft process if one player is getting that kind of deal because it then raises the level of expectation across the board for everyone.

And yeah, there aren't guys out there like Strasburg. Prior is the only guy from the last decade in the conversation (facing better competition he struck out 202 and walked 18 batters in 138 innings at USC as a junior) and he broke the system with his 10.5 Million dollar deal and that is when baseball decided to institute the slotting system. If Prior was worth 10.5 and it was deemed too much, then whats it saying when Strasburg is talking 50 million?

TheNext44
03-22-2009, 04:00 PM
Who cares about double the signing bonus record. The rest of the draft isn't striking out 16 per 9 and putting up a 10:1 K/BB ratio. The reality is that the draft is still a massive bargain to what guys get in free agency. If I were a team like the Reds, I'd be much more focused on acquiring as much talent as possible within my budget and let the market sort out how much of that total available cash goes to amateurs versus "proven veterans". Acquire the most talent you can for your money and the let the market equilibrium settle where it may.

But that is exactly why Boras tries to drive the price of draft picks up. He wants to destroy the slot system so that future picks can demand more and more each year.

This happens all the time. Picks say that so and so got so much, so I must be worth at least 2/3 that. The fact that the first guy was a once in a lifetime player means nothing in negotiations. They use numbers, so if Strasburg gets $25M, and becomes a 20 game winner, then every guy who projects to be a 15 game winner will demand $18M.

That is how the system works and that is why it is very dangerous to think only about talent and value. Giving Strasburg what he wants will only make it more expensive for teams to sign future picks, making it more difficult to get future talent. Letting the market settle where it may is very dangerous.

GIDP
03-22-2009, 04:05 PM
15 million is the tops id offer Strasburg also.

jojo
03-22-2009, 04:36 PM
The slot system is not part of the CBA. It's a "wink, wink" imposed by the comish's office. In other words, it's a "suggestion" to the owners and an individual owner may or may not honor it without any overt repercussions but politics may play a larger or smaller role depending upon the FO. The Ms passed on Andrew Miller because of slot issues taking Morrow instead. Detroit on the the other hand had no issues telling baseball to screw off as they pounced on Miller with the next pick.

I'm not sure the Nats are in a position to tell "baseball" to screw off by becoming another notch in Boras' pistol given the trainwreck that they've become. Then again, I'm not sure they are in the position to pass over a "once in a decade" arm.

Someone is going to tell baseball to screw off with Strasburg. I'm hoping it will be the Ms because he won't be there for the Reds at #8 barring some injury collapse or some off the field incident involving jail or drugs or youtube or a combination of all three.

GIDP
03-22-2009, 04:38 PM
The problem isnt over slotting really here its just the amount hes asking for compared to previous guys who were over slotted.

jojo
03-22-2009, 04:50 PM
If Strasburg can legitimately skip the minors, blowing up the previous slotting could be justified by his agent because a great deal of risk is mitigated.

That's the point.... Boras is beginning the campaign to brand Strasburg as being so unique that slotting precedence is useless. Barrng an injury, Boras is likely to be able to make a compelling argument.

Scrap Irony
03-22-2009, 05:02 PM
Agreed. Especially concerning Washington, Strasburg isn't likely to spend much, in any, time in the minors. He's worth the money, IMO, if he's a legtimate ace. And he looks like it at this point.

dougdirt
03-22-2009, 05:04 PM
If Strasburg can legitimately skip the minors, blowing up the previous slotting could be justified by his agent because a great deal of risk is mitigated.

That's the point.... Boras is beginning the campaign to brand Strasburg as being so unique that slotting precedence is useless. Barrng an injury, Boras is likely to be able to make a compelling argument.

Make a compelling argument, maybe. But I also give you Mark Prior as someone just as good in college, who got 10.5 Million. Strasburg may be better, but he isn't much better if at all.

Sure, someone might say screw you MLB and give him 25 million. Thats a big problem for all of baseball the day that happens though. MLB might want to think about stepping in before the draft and figuring something out with this situation before it gets way out of hand.

GIDP
03-22-2009, 05:06 PM
Its pretty amazing that hes asking for more than guys like Harang have made in their careers.

RedsManRick
03-22-2009, 05:25 PM
You are thinking from the REDS perspective. Think about it from all of baseball's perspective Rick. Its a terrible thing for the draft process if one player is getting that kind of deal because it then raises the level of expectation across the board for everyone.

And yeah, there aren't guys out there like Strasburg. Prior is the only guy from the last decade in the conversation (facing better competition he struck out 202 and walked 18 batters in 138 innings at USC as a junior) and he broke the system with his 10.5 Million dollar deal and that is when baseball decided to institute the slotting system. If Prior was worth 10.5 and it was deemed too much, then whats it saying when Strasburg is talking 50 million?

So what, Doug? If MLB wants to put a true slot system in place like the NBA, I'd be all for it. But so long as they want prices to follow some sort of market, it needs to be a market. Why should MLB dictate that available money should go to "proven" major leaguers instead of prospects? Let the teams decide where to spend their money.

The way things are set up now, Strasburg isn't going to change his demands at all. We saw that last year with Brackman. All it meant is that one of the top talents got to manipulate his way to a better team. Why should smaller payroll teams who have virtually no chance to sign elite talent in free agency be told that they can't make a smart investment on a young player who would be a bargain. You end up giving them the shaft on both ends.

If you aren't going to make a fixed slot system where salaries are pre-determined, let a team like the Pirates or Royals spend their limited cash in a way that might land them a franchise cornerstone rather than forcing them to spend what little money they do have in what is inevitably an inefficient manner.

If you simply want to give teams a little more leverage, make it so that any player who is drafted and does not sign is ineligible for the next 2 years.

RED VAN HOT
03-22-2009, 05:32 PM
I am in the minority that voted to pass, even if he is the best pitching prospect ever. Boras will run the price up beyond an acceptable risk/reward ratio for the Reds. More importantly, paying substantially over slot will help to destroy one of the few remaining strategies left to small market teams to build a winner. The market for FA talent is declining while more emphasis is being placed on building teams through draft and develop. Unlike the FA market, small market teams can compete in the draft arena on an almost equal basis. Paying substantially over slot for a top round draft pick will increase slot money all the way down. Eventually, it will lead to a system in which small market teams draft lesser talent because they know they can sign them for reasonable amounts.

As always, Boras is counting on the intense desire to win of all the owners to push up the prices. What starts as a once in a lifetime draft exception gradually becomes the rule. Strasburg is the ideal vehicle for doing this. I am not so naive as to believe that money will not eventually win out in the draft as well. For now, the small market teams would be wise to take a long term view, pass on Strasburg, and preserve some competitive balance as long as possible.

dougdirt
03-22-2009, 05:48 PM
So what, Doug? If MLB wants to put a true slot system in place like the NBA, I'd be all for it. But so long as they want prices to follow some sort of market, it needs to be a market. Why should MLB dictate that available money should go to "proven" major leaguers instead of prospects? Let the teams decide where to spend their money.

The way things are set up now, Strasburg isn't going to change his demands at all. We saw that last year with Brackman. All it meant is that one of the top talents got to manipulate his way to a better team. Why should smaller payroll teams who have virtually no chance to sign elite talent in free agency be told that they can't make a smart investment on a young player who would be a bargain. You end up giving them the shaft on both ends.

Brackman signed for a 3.35 Million bonus that is payed out over the next 6 seasons and he got 1.2 on top of that split up over the 2007-2010 seasons. That is complete apples and oranges to what Strasburg is talking about.

And its not to keep smaller teams from getting a guy like Strasburg, its to make it so they can. Strasburg is looking to make more than half of the Marlins payroll per season and he has 0 professional pitches thrown. Some teams just don't have the money to sign a guy like Strasburg with those demands because they don't have that kind of money set aside for the draft because its simply incredibly unprecedented.

mth123
03-22-2009, 05:50 PM
Not to mix budgets, but after the 2009 season the Reds may be in a position to clear a lot of dollars from the major league payroll by turning to the Roenicke/Fisher/Thompson/Bailey/Stewart group while shopping Arroyo and Cordero. This may be the best timing for this team to spend big bucks in the draft on a guy like Strasburg if he falls. The Reds could forego some international signings to save a little and use the return from dealing Arroyo and Cordero to supplement the draft in stocking the farm. The major league team in 2010 could be relatively cheap with Bailey joining the rotation in Arroyo's place and guys like Roenicke, Stewart, Fisher and Thompson backfilling for guys like Weathers and Cordero.

The moon and the stars could be lining up just right for the Reds to make a huge first round splash. Lots of young cheap players will be on the major league roster or pushing for major league roles and the team should probably have a lower payroll in 2010 and 2011 than its had in the last few seasons. I say make the splash now while the timing is right,

Scrap Irony
03-22-2009, 06:28 PM
If Strasburg gets past Seattle. Boras is intent on scaring Washington into not drafting his client so that the Mariners will. This will get him the most cash, as Washington's known for taking a hard line on draft slot money. Seattle would pay through the nose for a legitimate ace, as any baseball team would.

The twin questions are, 1) Is Strasburg that ace? and, 2) Can Strasburg stay healthy?

Most think he is tha ace. His numbers border on the ridiculous. They're certainly better than Prior's at USC, who is the only pitcher near his comp. And, if Prior were healthy, he would have been a relative bargain at that price for Chicago.

Speaking of health, Strasburg's mechanics are a bit weird (something about suppination and an upside down W or something or other I cannot seem to comprehend). He's been fairly brittle so far, but not overly so. Perhaps he's the second-coming of Prior. Perhaps his shoulder stays on.

I'd pay a record bonus to find out, personally. Most would, I think. He's going to get it, too, either from Washington or Seattle.

JaxRed
03-22-2009, 06:47 PM
"Its pretty amazing that hes asking for more than guys like Harang have made in their careers. "


It's more amazing that people can talk themselves into justifying it.

SMcGavin
03-23-2009, 02:32 AM
One thing about Prior... yeah the Cubs paid him $10.5M and he eventually broke down, but the Cubs also got 600+ IP of 3.51 ERA from him. And that's just in the regular season, they also rode him deeper into the playoffs than they have been in forever.

If they could do it all over again, I think the Cubs still draft Prior and give him his $10.5M. He was worth it.

GIDP
03-23-2009, 02:40 AM
Cubs also have 3 outfielders making more than our whole OF and part of our infield combined.

Caveat Emperor
03-23-2009, 02:42 AM
Draft him, offer him half what he's asking, and make him turn down the chance to be financially set for life before he ever laces up his cleats.

Alonso blinked, so will Strasburg.

JaxRed
03-23-2009, 07:57 AM
Draft him, offer him half what he's asking, and make him turn down the chance to be financially set for life before he ever laces up his cleats.

Alonso blinked, so will Strasburg.


And that's the real answer. Nats can pick #2 next year and get some outstanding player. Since they missed on Crow last year they still get an early pick this year.

They have ALL the leverage.

Pick a good figure for a guy that may be the best prospect to come out in a long while (say $12 mill), tell Boras that's the only offer he's going to get. Period.

edabbs44
03-23-2009, 09:27 AM
Draft him, offer him half what he's asking, and make him turn down the chance to be financially set for life before he ever laces up his cleats.

Alonso blinked, so will Strasburg.

Agreed. In addition, the question is if the Reds had the Nats' pick. Which means it is the #1 overall. And if you don't sign Strasberg, you get the #1 next year. Not a bad consolation prize, though the 2010 draft is supposed to be lesser than this year.

Draft him and offer him what you can. Let him walk if he doesn't like it.

bucksfan2
03-23-2009, 09:46 AM
In my mind this is one of those issues where you have to focus on talent. If he pans out, he's a bargain at $15M or $25M. If he doesn't, he's a waste of the money in either case. But there's no way you can possibly acquire that ceiling in free agency or in a trade.

I'm not a scout, so I won't begin to profess whether or not Strasburg is really as good as they say he is. But if my scouts were telling me that he's the best pitching prospect of the last decade, and I've made the assessment that he's going to sign, I'm making the investment to get him.

Again, I think the payday, be it $15M or $50M is too big for him to pass up. Obviously it will go down to the wire -- but he'll sign. The cases where the player doesn't sign are when he stands to get a much bigger payday by waiting -- and I just don't see a bigger payday down the line by having him go dominate overseas for a year (at least not big enough of one to justify the risk).

But this flies against the conventional draft thinking. The draft is supposed to help the worst teams build. It is supposed to allow them to build a team upon young, cheap talent. If Boras wins and gets a huge contract for Strasburg it would be a huge financial commitment to a guy who has never thrown a professional inning. How can a team build if every few years the top players in the draft command top MLB player type money?

I would think especially this year that a $50M contract to a draft choice would catch the ire of MLB and its union. I would hope that Selig and the union would stand together and strike this kind of talk down. Veteran MLB players didn't get much money at all this off season, and to see a kid come in and make some serious cash should irritate many.

I don't care if scouts are saying this is the best pitching prospect they have ever seen. They said that about Mark Prior. He was such a huge prospect and on the fast tract to the bigs. Unfortunately for Prior he had arm issues that have sidelined him for his career. Strasburg may or may not have injury problems early in his career. It is just way too much money to pay to an unproven pitcher.

SMcGavin
03-23-2009, 05:39 PM
I don't care if scouts are saying this is the best pitching prospect they have ever seen. They said that about Mark Prior. He was such a huge prospect and on the fast tract to the bigs. Unfortunately for Prior he had arm issues that have sidelined him for his career. Strasburg may or may not have injury problems early in his career. It is just way too much money to pay to an unproven pitcher.

I'll say it again... in a hypothetical situation where I know Strasburg is going to end up just like Prior (650 IP of 3.51 ERA, then get injured and never pitch again) I would still pay him $25M. That is basically the money the Reds gave Eric Milton. If Milton gave the Reds those numbers, we'd have been celebrating what an awesome signing it was. Why is it different just because Strasburg is a draft pick?

jojo
03-23-2009, 05:59 PM
I'll say it again... in a hypothetical situation where I know Strasburg is going to end up just like Prior (650 IP of 3.51 ERA, then get injured and never pitch again) I would still pay him $25M. That is basically the money the Reds gave Eric Milton. If Milton gave the Reds those numbers, we'd have been celebrating what an awesome signing it was. Why is it different just because Strasburg is a draft pick?

I agree. It's about assessing his true talent level.

If he truly is at a Lincecum or Prior level, paying him $25M is still an unfair wage relative to the free market. It's just fairer.

I see the point about process that some have raised.

That said, if Strasburg can produce at a level of Lincecum's rookie year as early as 2010 and the Nats can't afford that, then, they truly are in big trouble to the degree that their viability as a major league entity should be questioned IMHO. If they can't properly value his skill level and properly estimate his risk, then, well, that's once again, kind of on them isn't it?

batsfan
03-23-2009, 06:16 PM
Think about it: if we sign strasburg and traid arroyo and harang for a center fielder left fielder, and maybe a reliable shortstop, we would have a rotation of:

Volquez
Cueto
Strasburg
Bailey
Owings

dougdirt
03-23-2009, 06:19 PM
I agree. It's about assessing his true talent level.

If he truly is at a Lincecum or Prior level, paying him $25M is still an unfair wage relative to the free market. It's just fairer.

I see the point about process that some have raised.

That said, if Strasburg can produce at a level of Lincecum's rookie year as early as 2010 and the Nats can't afford that, then, they truly are in big trouble to the degree that their viability as a major league entity should be questioned IMHO. If they can't properly value his skill level and properly estimate his risk, then, well, that's once again, kind of on them isn't it?

But there lies the problem.... its not a free market so asking for free market prices shouldn't come into play. Sure, if Strasburg were on the free market he would be worth 30 million if he produced exactly like Prior. But he isn't on the free market.

The skill level assessment is there and everyone knows it. The problem is, his skill level is worth X amount of dollars in draft money. He is asking X+ about 35 million.

jojo
03-23-2009, 06:25 PM
But there lies the problem.... its not a free market so asking for free market prices shouldn't come into play. Sure, if Strasburg were on the free market he would be worth 30 million if he produced exactly like Prior. But he isn't on the free market.

The skill level assessment is there and everyone knows it. The problem is, his skill level is worth X amount of dollars in draft money. He is asking X+ about 35 million.

I think the X amount of dollars Strasburg's skill level is worth in draft money is about to be determined by the market. Really there is nothing set in stone about Prior's $10.5M major league contract. All Boras is doing is telling Bud to take his slots and stick it. Boras looks to have the arm to do it too.

dougdirt
03-23-2009, 06:31 PM
I think the X amount of dollars Strasburg's skill level is worth in draft money is about to be determined by the market. Really there is nothing set in stone about Prior's $10.5M major league contract. All Boras is doing is telling Bud to take his slots and stick it. Boras looks to have the arm to do it too.

Several guys do that each year. Boras or not, plenty of guys sign for well over slot money each draft.

And sure, there isn't anything set in stone about Prior's deal. However if its the benchmark in which other deals should be measured, Strasburg isn't 'worth' more than what Prior was in draft dollars.

Scrap Irony
03-23-2009, 06:41 PM
Strasburg's worth whatever he can make. Just like any other prospect in the draft. He'll likely destroy the old top deal and is also likely to earn it at the major league level.

Actually, it may be better for MLB is Stasburg signs and flames out. It'd suck for Washington, but it'd be interesting if owners would then insist on slot money for specific picks.

SMcGavin
03-23-2009, 06:44 PM
Several guys do that each year. Boras or not, plenty of guys sign for well over slot money each draft.

And sure, there isn't anything set in stone about Prior's deal. However if its the benchmark in which other deals should be measured, Strasburg isn't 'worth' more than what Prior was in draft dollars.

Prior signed for less than his production was worth. That doesn't make signing Strasburg for more a bad idea.

And Doug, just curious where you stand on this because I don't think you answered the poll. Lets say you are the Nats GM and you take Strasburg. You go through negotiations and it comes down to the last hour and Boras says, you pay him $25M and he signs, otherwise he's going back in the draft next year. Yes or no, do you give him the money?

jojo
03-23-2009, 06:55 PM
Several guys do that each year. Boras or not, plenty of guys sign for well over slot money each draft.

And sure, there isn't anything set in stone about Prior's deal. However if its the benchmark in which other deals should be measured, Strasburg isn't 'worth' more than what Prior was in draft dollars.

Prior was drafted 8 yrs ago. Why should that mark stand as the "forever benchmark"?

jojo
03-23-2009, 07:10 PM
It's an interesting game of chicken setting up to be played out between the Nats and Boras. Can the Nats afford to whiff a second year in a row on a top 10 pick or do they play hardball given they have the #10 pick in hand this season.

Think about it....it may be possible for the Nats could have a #1 and #2 next season even though they picked #10 this season all for taking one for the "team". :cool:

jojo
03-23-2009, 07:11 PM
It's an interesting game of chicken setting up to be played out between the Nats and Boras. Can the Nats afford to whiff a second year in a row on a top 10 pick or do they play hardball given they have the #10 pick in hand this season.

Think about it....it may be possible for the Nats to have a #1 and #2 in theory next season even though they picked #10 this draft-if they take one for the "team" and really suck it up to boot. :cool:

dougdirt
03-23-2009, 07:16 PM
Prior was drafted 8 yrs ago. Why should that mark stand as the "forever benchmark"?

Its not just that its the highest ever, its also the only player in Strasburg class of talent from the last 10 years coming out of college. Its the benchmark for Strasburg because the comparison is there and makes sense.

jojo
03-23-2009, 07:19 PM
Its not just that its the highest ever, its also the only player in Strasburg class of talent from the last 10 years coming out of college. Its the benchmark for Strasburg because the comparison is there and makes sense.

But it doesn't make sense that the value of player X would stay stagnant over 8 years.

GIDP
03-23-2009, 07:26 PM
I dont think anyone can really argue that he will get anything close to that number. Its 5 times more than most peoples max offer.

dougdirt
03-23-2009, 08:17 PM
But it doesn't make sense that the value of player X would stay stagnant over 8 years.

Well it certainly hasn't doubled.

Scrap Irony
03-23-2009, 09:08 PM
I'd argue it has, with respect to Washington. Boras has a kind of perfect storm set up here. The Nationals whiffed on a Top Ten pick last draft and they have money to spend. They're also fairly high profile, as the "new" hasn't quite worn off. Too, they're not just pitching poor, they're pitching starved.

And, with the addition of Dunn, they have a pretty solid offensive core for a few years that is likely to produce in front of a fan base that is growing restless with both product and front office.

Boras may sell Kasten and company on Strasburg as an ace, a la Prior before arm woes, that would lead them to the playoffs as early as 2010. (With Zimmerman, Lannan, and a free agent or two, it could very well happen.)

Is a playoff possibility and renewed local and national interest worth $25 million or so?

dougdirt
03-23-2009, 09:17 PM
Regardless of its 'worth', its overpaying based upon past precedent.

jojo
03-23-2009, 10:15 PM
Regardless of its 'worth', its overpaying based upon past precedent.

Is that in and of itself a reason to not do it?

RedsManRick
03-23-2009, 10:43 PM
Well it certainly hasn't doubled.

Well, the average major league salary has increased 50% since 2000 ($2M to $3M) and the top paid player's salary has doubled. ($15M to $32M). I'd say that's not out of line with history.

stock
03-23-2009, 11:06 PM
Correct me if I am wrong but it was the NFL and NBA players union that insisted on the slotting system. They got tired of players who never played on a professional level receiving more than proven veterans. The owners of these teams had no choice but to pay the players. Furthermore, these players had few other choices. Strasburg can always go back for his senior year. Enough of these signings occur and the MLB players union will put an end to it.

6 years at $25 million or better yet 7 years at $30 million would be a huge value for any team. I would be pumped if the Reds signed Bruce to a 6 year $30 million this week I would be extremely excited.

dougdirt
03-23-2009, 11:57 PM
Well, the average major league salary has increased 50% since 2000 ($2M to $3M) and the top paid player's salary has doubled. ($15M to $32M). I'd say that's not out of line with history.

The draft bonuses have not though. They have actually gone down.

dougdirt
03-23-2009, 11:59 PM
6 years at $25 million or better yet 7 years at $30 million would be a huge value for any team. I would be pumped if the Reds signed Bruce to a 6 year $30 million this week I would be extremely excited.

Jay Bruce has shown he can play in the major leagues too. Thats the difference.

RedsManRick
03-24-2009, 12:11 AM
The draft bonuses have not though. They have actually gone down.

Why? Sounds to me like they are due for a correction.

dougdirt
03-24-2009, 12:13 AM
Why? Sounds to me like they are due for a correction.

To keep the risk/reward at an acceptable rate.

camisadelgolf
03-24-2009, 05:49 AM
Regardless of its 'worth', its overpaying based upon past precedent.
It sounds to me like you're describing 'paying more' instead of 'overpaying'. :p:

dougdirt
03-24-2009, 11:37 AM
It sounds to me like you're describing 'paying more' instead of 'overpaying'. :p:

In this case I believe that they are the same thing. Mark Prior was 'worth' about 30 million over his career with the Cubs that they payed him 10.5 Million for. But that is if he were a free agent. Strasburg may be 'worth' more than that, but again, we aren't talking about the free agent market. We are talking about the draft, and the money for the draft is much different from the money on the free market.

osuceltic
03-24-2009, 12:40 PM
I'm hoping this is the guy that finally pushes MLB to negotiate a global draft and salary scale. If the players refuse a salary cap, fine. But this simple step could go a long way toward correcting competitive imbalance.

As for the poll, there's no way in hell I'd pay it. How many "sure things" have we seen over the years? How many actually panned out? Injuries and other factors are just too hard to predict -- especially for pitchers. The "Yeah, but this guy ... " argument isn't compelling to me.

Caveat Emperor
03-24-2009, 01:54 PM
Correct me if I am wrong but it was the NFL and NBA players union that insisted on the slotting system. They got tired of players who never played on a professional level receiving more than proven veterans.

Yup. And, quite frankly, I'm shocked the MLBPA hasn't squawked more loudly about this.

OnBaseMachine
03-24-2009, 01:59 PM
I'm hoping this is the guy that finally pushes MLB to negotiate a global draft and salary scale. If the players refuse a salary cap, fine. But this simple step could go a long way toward correcting competitive imbalance.


I'm against a global draft and here's why:


Right now, many in that community are talking about reducing the influence of buscones. Some critics advocate eliminating them altogether. But the cash-strapped Dominican government is unlikely to go after the one domestic group, besides players, making money off MLB. Another solution being batted around is a global baseball draft. Baseball officials think a draft will stabilize bonuses by reducing competition among teams. But others, like Plummer, say the overall talent pool would dry up. A draft would slot players into more clearly defined bonus categories, meaning less money for buscones. And with no scholastic or college baseball system to take up the training slack, the market economy would break down. "Where's the incentive to train the players?" Plummer asks. "When they put Puerto Rico in the draft, Puerto Rican baseball fell off." Puerto Rican players became draft eligible in 1990; two years ago, the island's secretary of sport asked out of the process, unsuccessfully.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espnmag/story?id=3974952

That's a great point. If the buscones are no longer making money, then where is the incentive to train these kids?

TRF
03-24-2009, 02:06 PM
Is that in and of itself a reason to not do it?

yes. it will destroy some franchises.

dougdirt
03-24-2009, 02:13 PM
I'm against a global draft and here's why:



http://sports.espn.go.com/espnmag/story?id=3974952

That's a great point. If the buscones are no longer making money, then where is the incentive to train these kids?

If MLB globalizes the draft, then rather the buscones train these kids maybe MLB invests more money into youth leagues down there. America and Canada seem to be producing fine players without buscones.

jojo
03-24-2009, 02:15 PM
yes. it will destroy some franchises.

Giving a unique individual a unique amount of money isn't going to destroy anybody.

KoryMac5
03-24-2009, 02:29 PM
I just can't see a team in this economy paying an unproven talent that much money. I would even think the Yankees would have a hard time swallowing that pill of a contract from Boras.

OnBaseMachine
03-24-2009, 02:31 PM
America and Canada seem to be producing fine players without buscones.

That's true, but the Dominican is a very poor country. My guess is most of the families down there can't afford to buy a bat, glove, and all the necessary items needed to play Little League Baseball.

I'm just not that interested in a global draft. I like the thought of being able to sign multiple top players through Latin America and then add more polished players through the draft. Sort of like the Reds did in 2008.

TRF
03-24-2009, 02:35 PM
Giving a unique individual a unique amount of money isn't going to destroy anybody.

Giving Milton 25 mil set them back 5 years at least. Giving an unproven draft pick 50 million would absolutely cripple Pittsburgh, KC, Cincinnati, TB, Florida, Washington, Cleveland, Minnesota, and probably a few others. If he tanks, they likely cannot sign the next 1st round pick they have, or make a signability pick. What if he's signed and goes all Paul Wilson or Brien Taylor?

There is a very good reason why incoming players signed via the draft shouldn't get bonuses that exceed some rotations' salaries.

edabbs44
03-24-2009, 02:36 PM
If MLB globalizes the draft, then rather the buscones train these kids maybe MLB invests more money into youth leagues down there. America and Canada seem to be producing fine players without buscones.

My thoughts exactly.

GIDP
03-24-2009, 02:52 PM
I think a good question is how much better is Strasburg than the next best pitcher. The next best pitcher lets say is Aaron Crow just for the sake of arguement(although im sure he will get injured). Is Strasburg worth 4x the money of Aaron Crow? Even if Strasburg gets 10-15 million is he worth 2-3 times more than Crow?

Crow wanted 4 million if I remember correct.

dougdirt
03-24-2009, 03:12 PM
That's true, but the Dominican is a very poor country. My guess is most of the families down there can't afford to buy a bat, glove, and all the necessary items needed to play Little League Baseball.
Which is why I noted that if it happens MLB needs to take the steps to fund youth leagues down there. So players can still be developed. One thing this may also help with is keeping these kids in school longer. What happens to all of these kids who the buscones remove from school and train who never turn into a pro player or sign a contract? Well now they have a 4th grade education at the age of 18 with no skills at all.

I have thought about it in the past, but am not sure about how to go about it, but to contact a school in the DR and offer up new gloves, baseballs and bats as rewards for kids who get good grades in school. Education is always the key to improvement. Globalizing the draft will result in better education for some of these kids and ultimately it will pay off for the betterment of baseball in my opinion.



I'm just not that interested in a global draft. I like the thought of being able to sign multiple top players through Latin America and then add more polished players through the draft. Sort of like the Reds did in 2008.
Wait until the big market teams all start spending like the Red Sox do on the international market.... you won't like it so much then when the Reds are picking pieces off of the scrap heap.

GIDP
03-24-2009, 03:29 PM
The thing Doug is talking is about is what makes me fear a major league salary cap so much.

-

dougdirt
03-24-2009, 03:44 PM
The thing Doug is talking is about is what makes me fear a major league salary cap so much.

-

Why? If there is a salary cap in baseball there just is no way that the big teams can buy all of the top end talent, it will have to be spread around a lot more.

GIDP
03-24-2009, 03:47 PM
If the yankees could only spend 120 million on their major league payroll they would find a place to spend that other 50 or so million. Which means less international free agents to pick from.

jojo
03-24-2009, 03:52 PM
Giving Milton 25 mil set them back 5 years at least. Giving an unproven draft pick 50 million would absolutely cripple Pittsburgh, KC, Cincinnati, TB, Florida, Washington, Cleveland, Minnesota, and probably a few others. If he tanks, they likely cannot sign the next 1st round pick they have, or make a signability pick. What if he's signed and goes all Paul Wilson or Brien Taylor?

There is a very good reason why incoming players signed via the draft shouldn't get bonuses that exceed some rotations' salaries.

Milton was a poor decision that hurt the Reds ability to compete. That can't be stressed enough-it was a poor decision that hurt the Reds.

The whole point of Boras' argument is that Strasburg shouldn't be labeled unproven and drafting him skips a huge amount of the risk associated with player development. Boras is arguing that Strasburg essentially is Dice K. If he's right and a team's FO evaluates Strasburg similarly, than $25M for 6yrs is a no brainer. The only real reason to bristle after arriving at that spot is an allegiance to the collective ownership that wants to get young talent as cheaply as possible. BTW, the $50M figure that Boras is throwing around simply isn't going to happen.

If the Reds could get the 2001 version of Mark Prior tomorrow simply by signing him, should they do it at $2M/yr but balk at doing it at $4M/yr?

bucksfan2
03-24-2009, 05:34 PM
Milton was a poor decision that hurt the Reds ability to compete. That can't be stressed enough-it was a poor decision that hurt the Reds.

The whole point of Boras' argument is that Strasburg shouldn't be labeled unproven and drafting him skips a huge amount of the risk associated with player development. Boras is arguing that Strasburg essentially is Dice K. If he's right and a team's FO evaluates Strasburg similarly, than $25M for 6yrs is a no brainer. The only real reason to bristle after arriving at that spot is an allegiance to the collective ownership that wants to get young talent as cheaply as possible. BTW, the $50M figure that Boras is throwing around simply isn't going to happen.

If the Reds could get the 2001 version of Mark Prior tomorrow simply by signing him, should they do it at $2M/yr but balk at doing it at $4M/yr?

At the time the Milton signing didn't seem like a poor decision. Most were in favor of the signing. In hindsight it was a poor signing that hurt the Reds. But the thing about Milton is there was more of a track record out there to base the signing upon. With Strasburg there isn't. He hasn't pitched in professional baseball. He situation isn't similar to DiceK for the shear fact that DiceK had a professional record to base the decision upon. Also DiceK helped the Red Sox enter a foreign market, taking some of the burden off of the contract.

Strasburg may be a once in a generational type pitcher but we heard that line before. We have seen many prospects go bust. We have seen injuries wreck havoc in careers. Too many what if's can happen to this kid before he ever throws a major league pitch to guarantee him that much money.

Lets assume that the Nats draft Strasburg and give him $50M. What does that tell the other players on the team. What does that tell an Adam Dunn who has a proven track record but can't get that kind of contract?

dougdirt
03-24-2009, 05:57 PM
The whole point of Boras' argument is that Strasburg shouldn't be labeled unproven and drafting him skips a huge amount of the risk associated with player development. Boras is arguing that Strasburg essentially is Dice K. If he's right and a team's FO evaluates Strasburg similarly, than $25M for 6yrs is a no brainer. The only real reason to bristle after arriving at that spot is an allegiance to the collective ownership that wants to get young talent as cheaply as possible. BTW, the $50M figure that Boras is throwing around simply isn't going to happen.

If the Reds could get the 2001 version of Mark Prior tomorrow simply by signing him, should they do it at $2M/yr but balk at doing it at $4M/yr?

Except I don't buy the Boras argument because Strasburg has no track record to go on outside of 16 innings in the Olympics and time in college. The fact that 25 million is a 'deal' if he turns into Mark Prior is irrelevant. Its not a 'deal' because the kid isn't a free agent and that 15 extra million is over twice as price of anyone ever has received as a draftee.

The issue with the second statement is that there is no way of knowing what Strasburg becomes, so making such a comparison doesn't work for me.

jojo
03-24-2009, 05:59 PM
At the time the Milton signing didn't seem like a poor decision. Most were in favor of the signing. In hindsight it was a poor signing that hurt the Reds.

That one was as easily predictable and identifiable as a bad decision before signing as the recent Zito contract was before it was signed. Both decisions have been discussed in threads that have since been archived and it's clear that compelling arguments were made against each signing before they even threw their first pitches with their new teams.


But the thing about Milton is there was more of a track record out there to base the signing upon. With Strasburg there isn't. He hasn't pitched in professional baseball. He situation isn't similar to DiceK for the shear fact that DiceK had a professional record to base the decision upon. Also DiceK helped the Red Sox enter a foreign market, taking some of the burden off of the contract.

Dice K had a track record in a league equivalent to something between the high minors and the college world series.


Strasburg may be a once in a generational type pitcher but we heard that line before. We have seen many prospects go bust. We have seen injuries wreck havoc in careers. Too many what if's can happen to this kid before he ever throws a major league pitch to guarantee him that much money.

Once again, with Strasburg the injury nexus has been pushed basically to his major league service time given he's unlikely to spend much time in the minors. A


Lets assume that the Nats draft Strasburg and give him $50M. What does that tell the other players on the team. What does that tell an Adam Dunn who has a proven track record but can't get that kind of contract?

We are really, really serious about winning and we're really, really thinking this guy can really, really help us win?

jojo
03-24-2009, 06:05 PM
Except I don't buy the Boras argument because Strasburg has no track record to go on outside of 16 innings in the Olympics and time in college. The fact that 25 million is a 'deal' if he turns into Mark Prior is irrelevant. Its not a 'deal' because the kid isn't a free agent and that 15 extra million is over twice as price of anyone ever has received as a draftee.

The issue with the second statement is that there is no way of knowing what Strasburg becomes, so making such a comparison doesn't work for me.

If he's got major league stuff already aka a DiceK or a Mark Prior circa 2001, the guessing is largely minimized and the production he'd give at the major league level would be a steal relative to the free agent market. It's just less of a steal relative to the slavery that is the current draft system (heck it might be worth $12M to an owner just to be able to sleep guilt-free). :cool:

This is really the issue that's been completely avoided thus far in the discussion. Is Boras correct about the kids stuff-i.e. its already major league quality and the kind that TOR arms possess?

dougdirt
03-24-2009, 06:10 PM
If he's got major league stuff already aka a DiceK or a Mark Prior circa 2001, the guessing is largely minimized and the production he'd give at the major league level would be a steal relative to the free agent market. It's just less of a steal relative to the slavery that is the current draft system (heck it might be worth $12M to an owner just to be able to sleep guilt-free). :cool:

This is really the issue that's been completely avoided thus far in the discussion. Is Boras correct about the kids stuff-i.e. its already major league quality and the kind that TOR arms possess?

It doesn't matter that he may be able to jump into the big leagues or not. He isn't a free agent. His stuff might be good enough right now, although I would like to see a third pitch make an appearance more often than it does. The draft process isn't quite a slavery system.... there is still a ton of risk involved in drafting and developing players, even those who are labeled as 'cant miss'.

Matt700wlw
03-24-2009, 07:26 PM
A piece on Strasberg

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=sh-strasburg032409&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

TRF
03-24-2009, 08:37 PM
Milton was a poor decision that hurt the Reds ability to compete. That can't be stressed enough-it was a poor decision that hurt the Reds.

The whole point of Boras' argument is that Strasburg shouldn't be labeled unproven and drafting him skips a huge amount of the risk associated with player development. Boras is arguing that Strasburg essentially is Dice K. If he's right and a team's FO evaluates Strasburg similarly, than $25M for 6yrs is a no brainer. The only real reason to bristle after arriving at that spot is an allegiance to the collective ownership that wants to get young talent as cheaply as possible. BTW, the $50M figure that Boras is throwing around simply isn't going to happen.

If the Reds could get the 2001 version of Mark Prior tomorrow simply by signing him, should they do it at $2M/yr but balk at doing it at $4M/yr?

Boras made the same argument about Andruw Jones.

Boras argument shouldn't be taken into consideration.

jojo
03-24-2009, 09:25 PM
Boras made the same argument about Andruw Jones.

Boras argument shouldn't be taken into consideration.

When Boras has compelling argument, it should.

dougdirt
03-24-2009, 09:29 PM
When Boras has compelling argument, it should.

Except his argument isn't all that compelling post 20 million.

jojo
03-24-2009, 09:35 PM
It doesn't matter that he may be able to jump into the big leagues or not. He isn't a free agent. His stuff might be good enough right now, although I would like to see a third pitch make an appearance more often than it does. The draft process isn't quite a slavery system.... there is still a ton of risk involved in drafting and developing players, even those who are labeled as 'cant miss'.

There is zero doubt that Strasburg will sign for over slot-it's only a question of how much over. A team passing on him had better have a more compelling reason than "but that's not the way it's supposed to work!".

dougdirt
03-24-2009, 09:37 PM
There is zero doubt that Strasburg will sign for over slot-it's only a question of how much over. A team passing on him had better have a more compelling reason than "but that's not the way it's supposed to work!".

Yeah, something like - we offered him 3 times the slot and he laughed at us and asked for 6 times the slot.

jojo
03-24-2009, 09:38 PM
Except his argument isn't all that compelling post 20 million.

If Strasburg continues doing what he's doing, "slot or be damned" just isn't that compelling.

jojo
03-24-2009, 09:39 PM
Yeah, something like - we offered him 3 times the slot and he laughed at us and asked for 6 times the slot.

If Strasburg turns down three times Prior's money, we'll talk. The Nats are just lucky that uppity amateur isn't a lefty.....

dougdirt
03-24-2009, 09:46 PM
If Strasburg turns down three times Prior's money, we'll talk. The Nats are just lucky that uppity amateur isn't a lefty.....

Prior isn't the slot. But I can see him turning down 21 million.

TRF
03-24-2009, 10:38 PM
When Boras has compelling argument, it should.


According to Boras, all his arguments are compelling. He's an agent. his only job is his bottom line: make the most for his client, therefore make the most for himself.

Therefore NONE of his arguments have merit. He Talked up Jones like he was worth 6 year 100 mil. The Dodgers actually bought a 2 years and waaaaaay too much. None of which was a testament to Jones skill level, but Boras salesmanship.

Same thing here, but with larger consequences. MLB needs to cap draft bonuses.

jojo
03-24-2009, 11:21 PM
According to Boras, all his arguments are compelling. He's an agent. his only job is his bottom line: make the most for his client, therefore make the most for himself.

Therefore NONE of his arguments have merit.

That's not a valid argument in the sense that the conclusion does not follow the premises. Just because his job is to make the best argument he can for his client doesn't mean that his argument isn't in fact a compelling one.

Besides, we're not discussing whether Boras thinks he has a compelling argument. We're discussing whether he does in fact have a compelling argument and why or why not.

fearofpopvol1
03-25-2009, 01:04 AM
Personally, I think it's too much money to invest in a rookie pitcher. I'd feel more comfortable throwing big money at a stud outfielder with a great glove and bat. Unproven pitchers (and yes, I think he's unproven) are just too risky to throw $25M+ at as a signing bonus. I'd see if he was willing to take a smaller bonus on the frontend with more guaranteed money after he logs some innings and proves his worth (a la a Ryan Braun kind of deal), but no way I'd put up that kind of money for a pitcher based on Boras' projections.

jojo
03-25-2009, 08:24 AM
Personally, I think it's too much money to invest in a rookie pitcher. I'd feel more comfortable throwing big money at a stud outfielder with a great glove and bat. Unproven pitchers (and yes, I think he's unproven) are just too risky to throw $25M+ at as a signing bonus. I'd see if he was willing to take a smaller bonus on the frontend with more guaranteed money after he logs some innings and proves his worth (a la a Ryan Braun kind of deal), but no way I'd put up that kind of money for a pitcher based on Boras' projections.

Presumably no FO would rely upon Boras' projections.

bucksfan2
03-25-2009, 09:37 AM
That one was as easily predictable and identifiable as a bad decision before signing as the recent Zito contract was before it was signed. Both decisions have been discussed in threads that have since been archived and it's clear that compelling arguments were made against each signing before they even threw their first pitches with their new teams

Thats quite a jump comparing the Milton contract to the Zito contract. I didn't see anywhere were Zito was mentioned in this thread.

Back to the original topic. Since Strasburg will enter the draft he will have to play by the draft's rules and standards. If he wants as much money as Boras says then he can pursue that in any manner. Actually the Nats are in a pretty good position right now. They have the #1 and #8 overall pick in the draft. They can/should pick Strasburg and attempt to sign him on their terms. If he doesn't want to sign he can go back to school and the Nats will have the #2 + another high pick (assuming another poor season). If they get the #1,2 picks again they can again draft Strasburg and attempt to sign him. If he doesn't want to sign he can play in the international league.

Unfortunately for Strasburg (I guess) he is at the mercy of the Nats. They will control his services for this season and maybe next season. He could become a free agent in two years but is that worth the arm exposure. Is a $25 million guarantee this year better than a big question mark in two years?

jojo
03-25-2009, 09:50 AM
Thats quite a jump comparing the Milton contract to the Zito contract. I didn't see anywhere were Zito was mentioned in this thread.

I think the point being made was pretty clear.


Back to the original topic. Since Strasburg will enter the draft he will have to play by the draft's rules and standards. If he wants as much money as Boras says then he can pursue that in any manner.

Slotting isn't the draft rules. It's an arbitrary system put into place by the collusion of ownership that by the way, owners frequently ignore.


Actually the Nats are in a pretty good position right now. They have the #1 and #8 overall pick in the draft.

The Nats have the #1 and #10. The Reds pick #8.


They can/should pick Strasburg and attempt to sign him on their terms. If he doesn't want to sign he can go back to school and the Nats will have the #2 + another high pick (assuming another poor season). If they get the #1,2 picks again they can again draft Strasburg and attempt to sign him. If he doesn't want to sign he can play in the international league.

At some point the Nats have to start rebuilding their farm system. If they draft Strasburg, they need to be very confident that they can indeed sign him. There is an opportunity cost associated with deferring your top draft pick two seasons in a row that shouldn't be ignored.

This is going to be a very interesting decision for them.


Unfortunately for Strasburg (I guess) he is at the mercy of the Nats. They will control his services for this season and maybe next season. He could become a free agent in two years but is that worth the arm exposure. Is a $25 million guarantee this year better than a big question mark in two years?

Actually that's kind of the point-Strasburg has a tangible amount of leverage. I think he'd take $25M BTW.

GIDP
03-25-2009, 09:51 AM
If the Nats want they can screw him over for 2 years if they feel like it. At worst they will have the 2nd pick next year if they draft him and he doesnt sign. They have way more power than he certainly does.

bucksfan2
03-25-2009, 11:26 AM
I think the point being made was pretty clear.

No JoJo the point wasn't clear. The debate was about Milton and his contract. Zito wasn't mentioned until you did. Zito and Milton's contracts aren't comparable. Milton got what he got, Zito IIRC got the highest contract ever paid to a pitcher. Most at the time agreed that the contract was awful, can't say the same thing about Milton.


The Nats have the #1 and #10. The Reds pick #8.

Ok. They have two top 10 picks. The #10 must be signed or they lose that pick. They really have quite a bit of flexibility in this draft. They could "punt" their #1 pick and still have a good draft.



At some point the Nats have to start rebuilding their farm system. If they draft Strasburg, they need to be very confident that they can indeed sign him. There is an opportunity cost associated with deferring your top draft pick two seasons in a row that shouldn't be ignored.

This is going to be a very interesting decision for them.

Agreed. Strasburg most likely should be the top pick. He would give them a great pitching prospect. But they also don't need to sign him. They can pick him and not agree to terms and get the #2 overall pick next year. They could really stock the farm system in 2010 by having two top 5 picks. It gives the Nats more leverage than Boras and his client.



Actually that's kind of the point-Strasburg has a tangible amount of leverage. I think he'd take $25M BTW.

I don't know what he will accept. Boras will be in a touchy situation when Strasburg needs to sign. It could be apparent that the Nats are headed for the #1 overall pick again or they could be having a decent season. It sure will be an interesting negotiation if the Nats are prime to take the #1 overall selection again.

BEETTLEBUG
03-25-2009, 12:06 PM
Someone on SunDeck said he threw 101 on Radar Gun

dougdirt
03-25-2009, 03:02 PM
Someone on SunDeck said he threw 101 on Radar Gun

He has hit 103 before. It doesn't really matter though in terms of what he is reportedly asking.

TheNext44
03-25-2009, 03:11 PM
Someone on SunDeck said he threw 101 on Radar Gun

Actually, what makes him stand out is that he consistently throws 101 on the radar gun, pitch after pitch. A few guys can reach 101, but he is the first I have heard of that can stay there.

The issue is not his stuff, but as JoJo asks at the beginning of this thread, how legit is he? Too many pitching prospects to mention had great stuff, and never produced at the major league level, even first overall picks. It takes more than stuff to be a "sure thing," and that is the big question, does Strasburg have what it takes to make it in pro ball?

In the article posted by Matt700WLW (thanks!) it says he was "soft" at first as a freshman, but has since toughened up. He said that college life overwhelmed him at first. That raises a few eyebrows.

And has he shown that he can control more than just his fastball? Nolan Ryan only became dominant when he gained control of his curve, which actually became as hard to hit as his fastball.

But most importantly, can he handle the game under the big lights. The WBC was a good sign, but that was just a few innings. Can he handle life on the road, the press, the fans, how will the money affect him? I really hate the Boras comparison to DiceK, since DiceK had played pro ball for years already and was huge star in Japan. We knew before he came to MLB, that he could handle The Show. We don't know that yet with the kid.

These are all real, and important questions that need to answered before giving him tens of millions of dollars. I am sure the National or whoever drafts him, will try to answer them before drafting and signing him. But until these questions are answered, (and I am sorry, but there is no one on this board who can answer them right now), there is no way to justify his demands.

jojo
03-25-2009, 03:56 PM
Strasburg has command of two legitimate plus out pitches (scouts actually argue about which is better his breaking ball or his 100 mph fastball) and he has an average change.

I haven't heard anyone question his makeup but in fact many rave about his intelligence, humility and work ethic. And clearly he doesn't shy from a challenge or fear failure if he was intimidated by college at first and has gone on to do what he has since including becoming an Olympian.

Faced press? Check. Faced travel? Check. Faced pressure? Check.

TRF
03-25-2009, 04:17 PM
Faced press? Check. Faced travel? Check. Faced pressure? Check.

Faced a 162 game schedule? no. Faced The NY Mets, Phillies, Braves? no. Faced a single MLB hitter in a game that counted? no. Faced the fans in Philly? no.

And he really hasn't faced the press. He hasn't had to deal with answering why something isn't working everyday until it is working again. He hasn't faced home crowds of 8,000 when the team he's playing for stinks.

TheNext44
03-25-2009, 04:24 PM
Strasburg has command of two legitimate plus out pitches (scouts actually argue about which is better his breaking ball or his 100 mph fastball) and he has an average change.

I haven't heard anyone question his makeup but in fact many rave about his intelligence, humility and work ethic. And clearly he doesn't shy from a challenge or fear failure if he was intimidated by college at first and has gone on to do what he has since including becoming an Olympian.

Faced press? Check. Faced travel? Check. Faced pressure? Check.

The Olympics were a nice test, and he seemed to pass quite easily, but that is still not the same as being a pro ball player for a whole season. I would mark all of those as half checked at best. It is about the same as being in the College World Series. It does say something, but is not definitive. It's like saying that after winning one golf tournament, you have what it takes to make it on the PGA tour.

Odds are good that he will turn out to be as good as advertised, and I am not saying that he doesn't have what it takes, just that no one will know until he actually becomes pro and has to handle that new life. Between that uncertainty and the uncertainty that we all face in terms of health, I just don't see him worth that much money.

jojo
03-25-2009, 04:33 PM
Faced a 162 game schedule? no. Faced The NY Mets, Phillies, Braves? no. Faced a single MLB hitter in a game that counted? no. Faced the fans in Philly? no.

And he really hasn't faced the press. He hasn't had to deal with answering why something isn't working everyday until it is working again. He hasn't faced home crowds of 8,000 when the team he's playing for stinks.

CC Sabathia has never pitched in a world series. It's crazy that the Yanks signed him.

Is there a tangible reason to doubt Strasburg's makeup?

bucksfan2
03-25-2009, 04:47 PM
The Olympics were a nice test, and he seemed to pass quite easily, but that is still not the same as being a pro ball player for a whole season. I would mark all of those as half checked at best. It is about the same as being in the College World Series. It does say something, but is not definitive. It's like saying that after winning one golf tournament, you have what it takes to make it on the PGA tour.

Odds are good that he will turn out to be as good as advertised, and I am not saying that he doesn't have what it takes, just that no one will know until he actually becomes pro and has to handle that new life. Between that uncertainty and the uncertainty that we all face in terms of health, I just don't see him worth that much money.

I know this is a different sport but Christian Laettner was a standout at Duke. IIRC he played on the Dream Team in 92. At the time he was considered one of the greatest college basketball players. His pro career wasn't anything special or remarkable.

I remember watching Phil Nevin play in the CWS when he was promoted as the Next Big Thing. He was a great college player, it just never really translated into a great MLB career. He was a decent player in MLB but nothing like his college billing.

We don't know how Strasburg will turn out. Scouts, scouting reports, amateur success have all been wrong quite a bit. "Sure things" have become "bust" and great players (Pujols, Peavy, etc.) have been found later on in the draft.

schmidty622
03-25-2009, 04:55 PM
He's a tommy john surgery (or two) waiting to happen.

You don't add 10+MPH to your fastball over the course of 2 years without the potential for some serious arm problems.

TRF
03-25-2009, 05:36 PM
CC Sabathia has never pitched in a world series. It's crazy that the Yanks signed him.

Is there a tangible reason to doubt Strasburg's makeup?

You actually compared a guy that has never thrown a pitch as a professional to CC Sabbathia.

really?

jojo
03-25-2009, 05:49 PM
You actually compared a guy that has never thrown a pitch as a professional to CC Sabbathia.

really?

It's the identical logic to your reasoning-i.e. "until someone has done something it's impossible to predict how they would do".

I'm guessing by your response, the point was made-track records can clue us in about how someone might perform in the unknown....

There's nothing magical about the pressures of major league baseball that can't evoke similar tests of makeup that an appearance in the highest level of a player's current situation can't evoke i.e. appearances in college world series or at high levels of international competition on a world stage. Is there something in Strasburg's history that suggests he can't deal with pressure, the possibility of failure or actual failure?

If not, then is it really appropriate to simply assume he can't handle mlb until he does?

ChatterRed
03-25-2009, 06:00 PM
I picked yes, but I picked it too fast.

I'd pass on the kid for money reasons only.

Until they get a set amount for each pick, the baseball draft is going to continue to be ridiculous. All professional sports drafts should go to slotted amounts of pay for the position drafted. And it shouldn't be that high.

The veterans should want it this way because then they can get paid what they are worth and not have to watch some rookie become a bust while making $10 million. But the veterans have to protect their agents and their agents make their money on the drafts.

camisadelgolf
03-25-2009, 06:09 PM
If I have to decide between the best pitcher for ~$30mm and the second-best pitcher for ~$8mm, I'd go with the second-best pitcher, and therefore, I voted to pass on him.

dougdirt
03-25-2009, 06:29 PM
He's a tommy john surgery (or two) waiting to happen.

You don't add 10+MPH to your fastball over the course of 2 years without the potential for some serious arm problems.

He actually added about 10 MPH in about a year, mostly because he was a fat soft kid when he was coming into college and then turned into a slim tall kid with some muscle within a year.

TheNext44
03-25-2009, 06:30 PM
It's the identical logic to your reasoning-i.e. "until someone has done something it's impossible to predict how they would do".

I'm guessing by your response, the point was made-track records can clue us in about how someone might perform in the unknown....

Not to speak for TRF, but CC has pitched in the playoffs, and that is nearly identical to pitching in the World Series. BTW, his track record is not very good: 5 games, 7.92 ERA. I am sure you would still sign him in spite of those 5 games, just like you would not automatically sign Strasburg because of two games in the Olympics.


There's nothing magical about the pressures of major league baseball that can't evoke similar tests of makeup that an appearance in the highest level of a player's current situation can't evoke i.e. appearances in college world series or at high levels of international competition on a world stage.

I just don't believe that to be true. Just as there is a huge difference between a regular season game and a playoff game, there is a huge difference between playing a full season of pro baseball and playing the college WS or the Olympics. And we are not talking intangibles, there are very tangible differences, the level of press coverage, the quality of the opponent, the length of schedule, the months of travel, the pressure from fans...


Is there something in Strasburg's history that suggests he can't deal with pressure, the possibility of failure or actual failure?

If not, then is it really appropriate to simply assume he can't handle mlb until he does?


We are not talking about assuming that he can't, we are talking about the degree of certainty of if he can. There is very little in his history to provide the certainty that he can, to justify his demands. With 10's of millions of dollars on the line, I want more certainty than there being no proof that he can't.

dougdirt
03-25-2009, 06:31 PM
CC Sabathia has never pitched in a world series. It's crazy that the Yanks signed him.

Is there a tangible reason to doubt Strasburg's makeup?

Sabathia however has likely faced most of the guys in the lineup he will seeing if he does get to the series. Bad example.

And no, there isn't a reason to really doubt Strasburg's makeup. There isn't a reason to believe its all that good either.

jojo
03-25-2009, 06:49 PM
There isn't a reason to believe its all that good either.

Character traits such as work ethic, humility, intelligence etc don't factor into an evaluation of a player's makeup?

jojo
03-25-2009, 06:56 PM
Not to speak for TRF, but CC has pitched in the playoffs, and that is nearly identical to pitching in the World Series. BTW, his track record is not very good: 5 games, 7.92 ERA. I am sure you would still sign him in spite of those 5 games, just like you would not automatically sign Strasburg because of two games in the Olympics.

Right because the argument is that you'd sign a player based upon his true skill level which of course is the argument for ignoring slot with Strasburg.


I just don't believe that to be true. Just as there is a huge difference between a regular season game and a playoff game, there is a huge difference between playing a full season of pro baseball and playing the college WS or the Olympics. And we are not talking intangibles, there are very tangible differences, the level of press coverage, the quality of the opponent, the length of schedule, the months of travel, the pressure from fans...

We are not talking about assuming that he can't, we are talking about the degree of certainty of if he can. There is very little in his history to provide the certainty that he can, to justify his demands. With 10's of millions of dollars on the line, I want more certainty than there being no proof that he can't.

Fine, then pay his father $100K/yr to travel with the team for the first few years. Risk associated with makeup issues solved.

dougdirt
03-25-2009, 07:00 PM
Character traits such as work ethic, humility, intelligence etc don't factor into an evaluation of a player's makeup?

Once a guy gets millions of dollars into his bank account is when I pay more attention to character. The character of a 20 year old sometimes changes when that 20 year old now has the money to do anything he would ever want.

dougdirt
03-25-2009, 07:02 PM
Right because the argument is that you'd sign a player based upon his true skill level which of course is the argument for ignoring slot with Strasburg.


The difference is we know CC's true skill level as a MLB pitcher. We have years and years of data against major league hitters that tell us his true skill level. We aren't guessing or assuming anything with him.

We would absolutely be guessing at Strasburgs true skill level against major league hitters.

jojo
03-25-2009, 07:24 PM
The difference is we know CC's true skill level as a MLB pitcher. We have years and years of data against major league hitters that tell us his true skill level. We aren't guessing or assuming anything with him.

We would absolutely be guessing at Strasburgs true skill level against major league hitters.

That argument suggests that minor leaguers aren't projectable.

Strasburg's stuff, velocity and command are on display and can readily be evaluated as major league quality or not. He just doesn't have minor league numbers.

The same could've been said for guys like Prior, Lincecum, Morrow and Price.... Heck DiceK had no real data against major league hitters.

TRF
03-25-2009, 07:28 PM
It's the identical logic to your reasoning-i.e. "until someone has done something it's impossible to predict how they would do".

I'm guessing by your response, the point was made-track records can clue us in about how someone might perform in the unknown....

There's nothing magical about the pressures of major league baseball that can't evoke similar tests of makeup that an appearance in the highest level of a player's current situation can't evoke i.e. appearances in college world series or at high levels of international competition on a world stage. Is there something in Strasburg's history that suggests he can't deal with pressure, the possibility of failure or actual failure?

If not, then is it really appropriate to simply assume he can't handle mlb until he does?

no, the analogy was wrong. that CC has never made it to the WS isn't an indicator of success at the MLB level. that's a team dependent accomplishment. Getting hitters out, facing the rigors of an MLB season straight from college as a pitcher, while not unheard of, certainly is not commonplace.

Maybe he is a gut that can do it.

Doesn't mean he should destroy why the draft was instituted in the first place.

Scrap Irony
03-25-2009, 07:52 PM
The guy has a 100 mph fastball, a breaking ball that is just as elite, and almost pinpoint control.

This season, he's K'ed over half the college kids he's faced (74 of 122) against 7 BBs.

He was the first college kid selected to play on the Olympic team since they began using minor leaguers in 2000. And he was the team's ace. And he was good, with a 1-1 record and a 2.45 ERA. Would it help if I said one of the two teams he faced was Cuba? The same Cuba team that played in the WBC just a couple weeks ago.

In 2007, all he did was place second in the nation in strikeouts, third in earned run average, third strikeouts per nine innings, and sixth in hits allowed per nine innings (5.64). This is against primarily older competition as a sophomore.

One scout told ESPN’s Buster Olney that he is already better than A.J. Burnett.

Sure, he may not be a sure thing. But he's as close to a sure thing as any pitcher since King Felix. He's the best NCAA pitcher since... Weaver? Prior? Seaver? Clemens? His stats and scouting report combinatin beat them all.

dougdirt
03-25-2009, 07:54 PM
That argument suggests that minor leaguers aren't projectable.
Sure they are projectable... but they aren't proven and thats the difference.



Strasburg's stuff, velocity and command are on display and can readily be evaluated as major league quality or not. He just doesn't have minor league numbers.
The same could've been said for guys like Prior, Lincecum, Morrow and Price.... Heck DiceK had no real data against major league hitters.
The same was said for all of those guys and rightfully so. Its why the college kids signed for what they signed for.... they weren't sure things. Dice K on the flip side had time against other professionals. While they weren't guys from MLB, they were pro's and they were well regarded pro's.

jojo
03-25-2009, 08:01 PM
Sure they are projectable... but they aren't proven and thats the difference.


The same was said for all of those guys and rightfully so. Its why the college kids signed for what they signed for.... they weren't sure things. Dice K on the flip side had time against other professionals. While they weren't guys from MLB, they were pro's and they were well regarded pro's.

DiceK essentially had an eight year minor league track record.

dougdirt
03-25-2009, 08:01 PM
The guy has a 100 mph fastball, a breaking ball that is just as elite, and almost pinpoint control.

This season, he's K'ed over half the college kids he's faced (74 of 122) against 7 BBs.

He was the first college kid selected to play on the Olympic team since they began using minor leaguers in 2000. And he was the team's ace. And he was good, with a 1-1 record and a 2.45 ERA. Would it help if I said one of the two teams he faced was Cuba? The same Cuba team that played in the WBC just a couple weeks ago.

In 2007, all he did was place second in the nation in strikeouts, third in earned run average, third strikeouts per nine innings, and sixth in hits allowed per nine innings (5.64). This is against primarily older competition as a sophomore.

One scout told ESPNís Buster Olney that he is already better than A.J. Burnett.

Sure, he may not be a sure thing. But he's as close to a sure thing as any pitcher since King Felix. He's the best NCAA pitcher since... Weaver? Prior? Seaver? Clemens? His stats and scouting report combinatin beat them all.

I will take Priors career at USC over Strasburg at SDSU. The level of competition just isn't comparable and his numbers were nearly as good. Heck, Prior had the stuff to match Strasburg. The fastball velocity wasn't quite the same, but he had three above average pitches and a 4th average pitch. Strasburg throws two pitches for the most part, barely using a change up.

And not really on the Cuba thing. The Reds 30th round pick in last years draft pitched very well against Cuba last year as well, as an 18 year old.

It still comes down to, what makes him so much more special than a guy like Prior that he wants 2-3 times what Prior got?

dougdirt
03-25-2009, 08:03 PM
DiceK essentially had an eight year minor league track record.

If we are going to go with that statement, its also 8 years at the very least a AAA level, which is a quantum leap ahead of college in terms of overall baseball talent.

Dice K had a whole slew of experience at a very high level of competition. Strasburg has none of that.

GIDP
03-25-2009, 08:09 PM
I wouldnt pay too much attention to the walk numbers either.

Scrap Irony
03-25-2009, 08:19 PM
From a 2002 scouting report on Prior:


"When he's on, Prior is that rare breed of power pitcher who has exquisite command. He has a fastball that clocks in the mid- to upper 90s, a good curveball and a still-developing changeup."

That's two above average pitches. One superior (mid 90's fastball), one "good" (curve).

The fastball's not as fast and the curve isn't in the same league as Strasburg's slider.

jojo
03-25-2009, 08:20 PM
I will take Priors career at USC over Strasburg at SDSU. The level of competition just isn't comparable and his numbers were nearly as good.

San Diego State's strength of schedule has been around 25-30th in div 1 during Strasburg's career. SoCals was 10-14 when Prior was around. It's not like Prior was pitching to major leaguers and Strasburg is feasting upon guys from Olivet Nazarene University.


It still comes down to, what makes him so much more special than a guy like Prior that he wants 2-3 times what Prior got?

Prior signed 8 years ago and John Boggs isn't Scott Boras.

Scrap Irony
03-25-2009, 08:32 PM
From Prospect Insider:


When you're 94-98, touching 99 with movement - typically into RHBs - and your slider is among the best 10 breaking balls in the entire sport, you're going to dominate at any level.

Strasburg isn't perfect, his fastball command isn't great and his mechanics have a small flaw or two - nothing nearly as alarming as some may have you believe, and he repeats it, which is most important - but I can't think of a draft over the past 15 years where he wouldn't have been the top talent.

Stras > Justin Upton
Stras > David Price
Stras > Tim Beckham
Stras > Pat Burrell
Stras > Joe Mauer and Mark Prior (yes, even Prior)

I think you have to go all the way back to 1993 when Seattle took Alex Rodriguez No. 1 overall where you're looking at Strasburg as the No. 2 talent.

Stephen Strasburg is not a good pitching prospect - he's a great pitcher with the best fastball-slider combination I have ever seen on a pitcher not in the big leagues. And I'm not alone. Some long-time scouts told Keith a few weeks back that Strasburg might be the best college pitcher of all-time.

dougdirt
03-25-2009, 08:38 PM
San Diego State's strength of schedule has been around 25-30th in div 1 during Strasburg's career. SoCals was 10-14 when Prior was around. It's not like Prior was pitching to major leaguers and Strasburg is feasting upon guys from Olivet Nazarene University.



Prior signed 8 years ago and John Boggs isn't Scott Boras.

Strength of schedule doesn't mean much in terms of actual competition I am talking about. How many future pro's were each guy seeing? I have a feeling the Pac 10 is producing a lot more.

As for Prior being 8 years ago... that still doesn't make him worth 2-3 times because 8 years have gone by, especially when bonuses have remained stagnant or even dropped since then. Argue the system all you want, but if the prices are what they are, Strasburg isn't an other worldly talent compared to that of the other top picks. Is he better, maybe, most likely.... but he isn't on an entirely different planet than a guy like Mark Prior, thus his price shouldn't be on a different planet in a different galaxy.

jojo
03-25-2009, 08:42 PM
Strength of schedule doesn't mean much in terms of actual competition I am talking about. How many future pro's were each guy seeing? I have a feeling the Pac 10 is producing a lot more.

As for Prior being 8 years ago... that still doesn't make him worth 2-3 times because 8 years have gone by, especially when bonuses have remained stagnant or even dropped since then. Argue the system all you want, but if the prices are what they are, Strasburg isn't an other worldly talent compared to that of the other top picks. Is he better, maybe, most likely.... but he isn't on an entirely different planet than a guy like Mark Prior, thus his price shouldn't be on a different planet in a different galaxy.

Are the people paying the bonuses the same ones who are colluding on slot? :cool:

dougdirt
03-25-2009, 08:55 PM
Are the people paying the bonuses the same ones who are colluding on slot? :cool:

Potentially, but until a player refuses to sign year after year after year of being drafted, its not going to change. Since that won't happen, its not going to change. Someone is going to have to actually go sign a big multiyear contract in Japan for it to change.

Screwball
03-26-2009, 08:37 AM
While I realize I'm late to the party while jojo and doug are in the midst of a sweet-ass game of eer pog, I gotta say I take Strasburg with the #1 pick (if I'm the Reds, as the poll stated) for $25 mill every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

He has 2 insane pitches. Not just his 100 MPH fastball, but a crazy good breaking ball that just baffles hitters. If you can slot him in the rotation around Volquez, Cueto, Harang, Bailey and the like, you literally have a WS team on your hands. You'll make your initial investment back and then some, given EVERY scouting report and statistical approach alike. Sure he may not pan out, but chances are he's the one cog that makes you a WS contender, especially given Votto, Bruce, Edwin and the other minor leaguers anybody who's reading this already knows about.

IMO, you pay for premium talent, even at $25 mill, and you laugh all the way to the World Series.

Scrap Irony
03-26-2009, 10:59 AM
And that's the crux of the argument, I think. jojo is willing to pay a premium for premium talent. doug argues that no one should break the system in place (cheaply, relatively speaking) for someone who may not pan out anyway.

TRF
03-26-2009, 11:15 AM
I think doug's argument goes further. I think it extends to it doesn't matter if they pan out or not. The draft is in place to ensure all teams have a fair shot at the top talent. Agents have been pushing the boundaries of this for years, but IMO it came to a head with Kazmir. No way he should have fallen to the Mets like he did.

jojo
03-26-2009, 01:32 PM
Ya, that's pretty much the crux of it. Doug and I agree on most things really but the issue of Strasburg is likely to be one of the few things we aren't likely to budge the other guy's way while debating based upon the first ten pages of this thread.

I wonder if the Nats FO/ownership is similarly split? This is going to be a cool draft (though admittedly the Strasburg hype will likely be unbearable by then if it's not already for some).

Caveat Emperor
03-26-2009, 04:37 PM
I think doug's argument goes further. I think it extends to it doesn't matter if they pan out or not. The draft is in place to ensure all teams have a fair shot at the top talent. Agents have been pushing the boundaries of this for years, but IMO it came to a head with Kazmir. No way he should have fallen to the Mets like he did.

And it's a quizzical argument to make, considering we're talking about the one sport that thumbs it's nose at the traditional notion of "fairness" with the lack of a salary cap, guaranteed contracts, and comparative (vs. other major sports) lack of revenue sharing.

Baseball isn't fair, and it's draft is certainl not fair -- hell, look how many compensatory picks top teams like the Red Sox end up with every year.

OnBaseMachine
03-27-2009, 01:31 PM
From Rob Neyer's blog...

Hoping Strasburg doesn't reach 105 on radar gun

Friday, March 27, 2009 | Feedback | Print Entry

Via Lee Jenkins, the legend grows …

"I know everybody now is asking, 'How did you miss on Stephen Strasburg in high school?' " says a major league scout. "But we didn't miss. He was soft in every way." Strasburg would bark at infielders after errors and at umpires after bad calls. If he gave up a couple of hits and the opposing dugout started to chirp, he had a tendency to overthrow his fastball, which would then flatten out and get smacked even harder. "I told scouts not to draft me," Strasburg says. "I wasn't ready."

Filter saw those radar-gun readings, that swimmer's wingspan, and persuaded [Tony] Gwynn to take him [at San Diego State]. During Strasburg's first night on campus it became clear he was a little different. He was living in a dorm at University Towers and was asleep at 10:30 p.m. when his roommate stumbled in with five female students. Strasburg was aghast. A few days later he moved in with his mother and grandmother, who share a nearby house. Then by the end of Strasburg's second week, when conditioning began, he was ready to drop out of school altogether. "I was this close," he says, holding his thumb next to his index finger. "I was going to find a job. We have a Home Depot and a Lowe's near our house."

The man responsible for almost driving Strasburg away, and then for whipping him into shape, is Dave Ohton, the Aztecs' barrel-chested strength coach. When Marshall Faulk was playing football at the school, Ohton called him "a visitor" because he was so extraordinarily gifted and physically mature, he had to be an alien life force. Strasburg was no visitor. When the baseball team convened in September 2007 for preseason workouts on the football field, Ohton had the players warm up by running from the goal line to the 50 and back. Strasburg could not get through four sprints without vomiting. "Is there something wrong with you?" Ohton asked. "Do you have a medical condition?"

Strasburg bowed his head, his chubby cheeks a bright red. "Just out of shape," he said. Ohton nicknamed him Slothburg, which he later shortened to Sloth. "I demoralized this young man," Ohton says. "I didn't even want him around the other players. I had never seen a college athlete who was as far behind as he was. I didn't think it was possible to be that bad." After two weeks of conditioning and purging Strasburg passed Ohton on the stairs in the weight room. "I appreciate your staying on top of me," Strasburg said. Ohton paused at the top of the staircase. "Sloth," he said, "you really should consider quitting. You're not going to make it."

I know all about the whole break-them-down-and-build-them-up routine. I've seen it close-up, and it's brutal but often highly effective (at least in the short term). But man, that guy was rough. All's well that ends well, I guess.

You want brutal? Here's some scary stuff …

Given that he is only 20, Strasburg may have a couple of more miles per hour left in his right arm, but nobody with his best interests at heart wants to see him throw any harder. "It's better to throw 105 than 95, but it's better to throw 95 and be on the field than be in a trainer's room telling people you used to throw 105," says Glenn Fleisig, a research director at American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham who studies pitching. "The harder you throw, the more success you have, but you're pushing your body to higher demand." Strasburg is already stretching his limits. A person throwing a 90-mph fastball rotates his arm at a rate of 22 times per second. The more rotations, the more strain. As Stephen's father, Jim, a real estate developer, puts it, "I'm hoping he's maxed out." No one understands better than Gwynn what's at stake. He only uses Strasburg once a week and limits him to about 115 pitches. "I won't let him leave his arm here," Gwynn says.

If Strasburg was pitching professionally, he wouldn't be allowed to throw 115 pitches. Not when he's 20, and maybe not when he's 21 (we'll find out next spring). On the other hand, if he was pitching professionally he would pitch more than once per week. So maybe that's sort of a wash (we can only hope).

As for this business about throwing 105 … Please, no. Every time we see a young pitcher doing things that seem practically impossible -- Kerry Wood and Francisco Liriano come to mind -- it turns out those things are impossible. Strasburg has struck out nearly 20 batters per nine innings this spring. That's plenty impossible enough. I don't know if throwing 105 is possible. For Strasburg's sake -- and frankly, for mine as a baseball fan -- I hope we don't find out. Because while 105 might well be possible, I'd be shocked if it was possible for long. And I want to see this guy pitch for a long time.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=4020458&name=Neyer_Rob

AtomicDumpling
03-28-2009, 03:29 AM
My perspective on this debate is to look for the best value for your dollar. If I had $25 million to spend on my team I would purchase Strasburg's services and consider it money well spent. I realize that would seriously damage the slotting system, but I don't consider that a big deal.

The slotting system doesn't actually help small-market teams compete with large market teams across the whole spectrum of players. It helps them compete for prospects, but hurts them in the quest for free agents.

The reason is because each team only has a given amount of money to spend (as determined by their ownership). If a team swoops in and snatches up the top prospects by paying out huge signing bonuses it will leave them with less money to spend on free agents. So while the price of prospects will increase, the price of free agents would decrease by the same amount.

Each team is left to decide for themselves whether to spend their available funds on draft picks or on free agents. That is how a free market works. Each talent source will "find its own level" -- each resource will evolve its own intrinsic value based on market pressure instead of being artificially pre-determined.

So the Strasburg signing may make it harder for the Reds to draft and sign top prospects, but it will make it easier for the Reds to sign proven major league talent in the free agent market.

TheNext44
03-28-2009, 04:42 AM
My perspective on this debate is to look for the best value for your dollar. If I had $25 million to spend on my team I would purchase Strasburg's services and consider it money well spent. I realize that would seriously damage the slotting system, but I don't consider that a big deal.

The slotting system doesn't actually help small-market teams compete with large market teams across the whole spectrum of players. It helps them compete for prospects, but hurts them in the quest for free agents.

The reason is because each team only has a given amount of money to spend (as determined by their ownership). If a team swoops in and snatches up the top prospects by paying out huge signing bonuses it will leave them with less money to spend on free agents. So while the price of prospects will increase, the price of free agents would decrease by the same amount.

Each team is left to decide for themselves whether to spend their available funds on draft picks or on free agents. That is how a free market works. Each talent source will "find its own level" -- each resource will evolve its own intrinsic value based on market pressure instead of being artificially pre-determined.

So the Strasburg signing may make it harder for the Reds to draft and sign top prospects, but it will make it easier for the Reds to sign proven major league talent in the free agent market.

That is an excellent analysis of a free market. However, MLB is not a free market, it is very far from it.
First, in a free market, players would always be free agents unless they were signed to long term deals.
There is no "draft" in a free market. The idea that ownership would decide who works for them, and control an employee for the first five years of service, against the will of the employee, is completely counter to the free market.
In a free market, limited Free Agency and Arbitration would not be used to set salaries, the free market would.

Second, in a free market, the goal is simply to be profitable. There is no other goal. In MLB, the goal is to win championships, and be profitable, (unless you're the Pirates, then it's neither).
In a free market, it is okay to have companies of different sizes compete. Budweiser and Hudepohl can exist at the same time in the same market and both be profitable. Bud would make more money, because it has more money, but it may or may not be more profitable than Hudepohl. Like you said, each company will find its own level.
But in MLB, since one of the goals is winning, it is difficult for the Yankees and the Reds to exist together, and both have the same opportunity to win. The Reds may be more profitable than the Yankees, but because the Yankees have more money, it is easier for them to win.
So while both teams do decide how much to spend on draft picks and how much to spend on free agents, the Yankees will always have more, much, much more to spend on both. If the Reds decide to spend less money on draft picks, and more money on free agents, they will still not be able to compete with the Yankees on free agents. The Yankees will always be able to drive up the price of free agents, no matter how much they spend on draft picks.
Right now, the Yankees or any other team, can not drive up the price of draft pick that much. This is not due to the slotting system, which really doesn't even exist, except in Bud Selig's imagination, but due to the fact that players being drafted have limited options. They can sit out a year, or sign. That is it. So there is no need for the Nationals, or any other team to give into a players demands, unless they can afford them and consider them fair.

Strasburg throws a monkey wrench in this logic, if he really is a once a in a lifetime pitcher. And that is why this is so fun to debate.

AtomicDumpling
03-28-2009, 09:21 PM
That is an excellent analysis of a free market. However, MLB is not a free market, it is very far from it.
First, in a free market, players would always be free agents unless they were signed to long term deals.
There is no "draft" in a free market. The idea that ownership would decide who works for them, and control an employee for the first five years of service, against the will of the employee, is completely counter to the free market.
In a free market, limited Free Agency and Arbitration would not be used to set salaries, the free market would.

Second, in a free market, the goal is simply to be profitable. There is no other goal. In MLB, the goal is to win championships, and be profitable, (unless you're the Pirates, then it's neither).
In a free market, it is okay to have companies of different sizes compete. Budweiser and Hudepohl can exist at the same time in the same market and both be profitable. Bud would make more money, because it has more money, but it may or may not be more profitable than Hudepohl. Like you said, each company will find its own level.
But in MLB, since one of the goals is winning, it is difficult for the Yankees and the Reds to exist together, and both have the same opportunity to win. The Reds may be more profitable than the Yankees, but because the Yankees have more money, it is easier for them to win.
So while both teams do decide how much to spend on draft picks and how much to spend on free agents, the Yankees will always have more, much, much more to spend on both. If the Reds decide to spend less money on draft picks, and more money on free agents, they will still not be able to compete with the Yankees on free agents. The Yankees will always be able to drive up the price of free agents, no matter how much they spend on draft picks.
Right now, the Yankees or any other team, can not drive up the price of draft pick that much. This is not due to the slotting system, which really doesn't even exist, except in Bud Selig's imagination, but due to the fact that players being drafted have limited options. They can sit out a year, or sign. That is it. So there is no need for the Nationals, or any other team to give into a players demands, unless they can afford them and consider them fair.

Strasburg throws a monkey wrench in this logic, if he really is a once a in a lifetime pitcher. And that is why this is so fun to debate.

Baseball is definitely a free market. It is a free market because there are very few rules on how much you can spend or where you can spend it. Most of the rules that do exist favor the owners not the players.

The teams are the consumers in this free market, not the sellers. The players are the commodities. The agents are the salesmen.

Just like any free market, some consumers have more money to spend than others.

RedsManRick
03-28-2009, 10:17 PM
They don't take your franchise away from you if you lose. It simply so happens that winning is the best way to be profitable for most franchises. The only owners who get pushed out are ones who hurt the value of the league -- not the ones who lose.

TheNext44
03-29-2009, 01:16 AM
Baseball is definitely a free market. It is a free market because there are very few rules on how much you can spend or where you can spend it. Most of the rules that do exist favor the owners not the players.

The teams are the consumers in this free market, not the sellers. The players are the commodities. The agents are the salesmen.

Just like any free market, some consumers have more money to spend than others.

In a micro-economic sense, you are correct. The owners are consumers and the players the sellers of a commodity. Just like the company that provides brake pads to GM are sellers of a commodity and GM is a consumer, within that micro-economic world.

However, in the macro-economic world, the teams are sellers of a product - live baseball games, the players are employees who help deliver that product, and the fans who buy tickets and watch the commercials on TV are the consumers. Just as GM is the seller of product - new cars, the break pad company is an employee (independent contractor) who helps deliver that product and the people who buy the cars are the consumers.

It is very possible for there to be a free market on the micro-economic level, but not on the macro-economic level. In fact, it happens all the time. The city of Cincinnati uses the free market to supply it with goods it needs to run the government, but City Hall is not a free market, since only elected officials can serve in the main offices.

The fact that Congress needs to oversee the business of baseball is all the proof you need that it is not a free market. Just read about the Anti-Trust exemption that it has, and you will understand that it is not a free market at all.

Teams are not allowed to move from city to another without permission from the league, and North American players are subject to a draft, which decides where they will play for up to the first 10 years of employment. Nothing free about that.

RED VAN HOT
04-03-2009, 11:25 PM
Post Script on the poll

I saw Strasburg pitch today. San Diego State played a 4-18 UC Davis team in Petco Park before the Padres exhibition. FWIW, he went six innings, 3H, 0R, 2BB, 6K., 1 hit batsman, 94 pitches. He was impressive, but not overpowering. His fastballs were in the range from 95 to 98. The scoreboard did not record the speed on every pitch. Still, I doubt that he hit triple digits today. As for his breaking balls, I could only guess their effectiveness from batter reactions. He seemed to be throwing a low 90's slider and change up curve in the low 80's that froze batters. He was not afraid to throw the curve behind the count. To me this lends credence to the claim that he is somewhat polished and more than a flame thrower. Three of his K's came in one inning after an error and a walk posed a minor threat. SDSU had the game well in hand early in very cool weather, so that may have held his K's down. I'm no expert, but his delivery looked smooth.

My hunch is that the Nats will not draft him. They can't risk being put in a position of either paying more than they can afford or blowing another first round pick. If the Mariners are scared off by the price tag, I think the Padres will take him at 3. New ownership could not afford to pass on a local star.

remdog
04-04-2009, 03:42 PM
Post Script on the poll

I saw Strasburg pitch today. San Diego State played a 4-18 UC Davis team in Petco Park before the Padres exhibition. FWIW, he went six innings, 3H, 0R, 2BB, 6K., 1 hit batsman, 94 pitches. He was impressive, but not overpowering. His fastballs were in the range from 95 to 98. The scoreboard did not record the speed on every pitch. Still, I doubt that he hit triple digits today. As for his breaking balls, I could only guess their effectiveness from batter reactions. He seemed to be throwing a low 90's slider and change up curve in the low 80's that froze batters. He was not afraid to throw the curve behind the count. To me this lends credence to the claim that he is somewhat polished and more than a flame thrower. Three of his K's came in one inning after an error and a walk posed a minor threat. SDSU had the game well in hand early in very cool weather, so that may have held his K's down. I'm no expert, but his delivery looked smooth.

My hunch is that the Nats will not draft him. They can't risk being put in a position of either paying more than they can afford or blowing another first round pick. If the Mariners are scared off by the price tag, I think the Padres will take him at 3. New ownership could not afford to pass on a local star.

I watched the Angels vs. the Pads on tv last night (from Petco) and during the broadcast they showed highlights of Strasburg's performance. From what little I saw I would say that your review was on the money. Most of the pitches they showed him throwing were breaking balls and they were very good. If he can be consistant with those kind of pitches he doesn't have to throw 100+ MPH; 97-99 will be just fine. ;)

I also agree that, if Stasburg falls to the three spot there is no way the Pads don't take him. They need pitching. As you stated, he's a local hero (although there was that awful choice of Bush, another local, at #1 a few years ago).

Rem