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Ryan Zimmerman On Strasburg: 'His Value Will Never Be Higher'

Aug 16, 2009 – 1:30 PM
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Tom Fornelli

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We're roughly 35 hours short of the MLB deadline for teams to sign their draft picks, and in spite of what's reported as a record-breaking contract offer to Washington Nationals first pick Stephen Strasburg, the two sides have yet to come to an agreement. It could just be another instance of Scott Boras wanting to wait until the last minute in hopes of forcing his opponent to crack, or Strasburg may just be dead set on not wanting to pitch for the Nationals.

We won't really know until late Monday, early Tuesday, but after reading some comments from Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman on the subject, I'm wondering if the Nats might be better off having him handle the negotiations. The man speaks the truth.

"When it comes down to it, Strasburg has to think about, 'Can I go to bed if I turn down $15, 16 million dollars -- whatever it is -- to pass up the opportunity to play for these guys?' That's a lot of money. I don't understand what he thinks will be better next year. If we don't take him, who's gonna take him next year? Pittsburgh? San Diego? San Diego is not gonna pay him more. Absolutely his leverage will never be higher. Everybody wants to play where they want to play; everybody wants the ideal situation, but that's not the point of the draft. You can't tell people where you want to play. At some point, do it like everybody else has already done it. I agree, he's one of the better college pitchers ever to pitch, but he hasn't proven anything yet."
Zimmerman is right in his assessment of the situation, and I'm pretty sure Boras is well aware of all this as well. So I'm still of the opinion that Strasburg will sign the Nationals offer before the deadline.

It's really hard to turn down that kind of money, especially when you're a pitcher. Just imagine if Strasburg turns down this offer, decides to spend next season in an independent league or back at San Diego State, and then hurts his elbow or shoulder. It's a very big risk for Strasburg to take, and hopefully he knows that if for no other reason than I really want to see what this kid can do against big leaguers.
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