I guess I'll put this here, dragging the draft forward:

The Nationals have offered No. 1 overall draft pick Stephen Strasburg the largest contract ever for a pitcher taken in the amateur draft, according to industry sources. Their proposed deal is worth more than Mark Prior's $10.5-million contract in 2001 and has been on the table for some time.

Strasburg is now virtually certain to make at least twice as much money, if he signs with the Nats, as last season's top amateur-draft contract of $6 million, according to sources who requested anonimity because of the sensitivity of negotations between the team and player. A deal must be finalized by midnight on Monday or Strasburg will reenter the draft next season and the Nationals will be conpensated with the No. 2 overall pick in 2010.

Some scouts and baseball executives consider Strasburg the best pitching prospect in the history of the game. There have been similar evalautions of young pitchers in the past, but since the draft began in 1965, only one pitcher taken with any of the first 18 selections in the draft has ever won 200 games (Kevin Brown, 211).

The Nationals dealings with Strasburg and his agent Scott Boras now appear to parallel last winter's negotiations between the team and free agent Mark Teixeira, also represented by Boras. The Nats then put out an initial offer of $160 million for eight seasons but, during the course of the talks, only moderately raised their final offer to $188 million for nine years. If that template is repeated, Strasburg may end up being offered something between $14-16 million, a third to a half higher than the current benchmark contract of Prior.

Boras has indicated that, for analysis of comparable values, the proper analogy may be to the prices paid for top international players, specifically pitcher Daisuke Matsusaka of the Red Sox who received $50 million three years ago. The two sides likely won't reach an agreement -- if they do at all --until the final minutes before the Monday night deadline.