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Travis Burten

Steven Strasburg SP WAS

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Price got 12 million. Strasburg is absolutely getting more than 15. I'd say probably in the 25-30 range.

Price got 8.5 mill over 6 years with a 5.6 million signing bonus.

30 million still seems very steep.

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Price got 12 million. Strasburg is absolutely getting more than 15. I'd say probably in the 25-30 range.

I don't know. The league finances have changed a lot in the last year. Look at the contracts at the end of this free agency. There is no way Was gives him $25 million. If they were going to do that, they might as well go out and get Manny for 1 season (I know - not the same. Just saying).

I don't think he even gets Price money. And he'll still be getting way too much. But, the economy has changed.

As an aside, I don't see how in ALL sports the unions are not up in arms about this sort of stuff. How can the mid-level vets (which make up the biggest part of ALL sports) allow unproven, never done anything rookies effectively take their money? When are they going to say enough's enough?

Now, I don't care. If Boras can convince someone to give a 22 year old who's only pitched against sub-par talent in college $50 mill, more power to him. (I am not saying anything about Stras' talent. This is about the stupidity of these clubs effectively bidding against themselves.)

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I don't know. The league finances have changed a lot in the last year. Look at the contracts at the end of this free agency. There is no way Was gives him $25 million. If they were going to do that, they might as well go out and get Manny for 1 season (I know - not the same. Just saying).

I don't think he even gets Price money. And he'll still be getting way too much. But, the economy has changed.

As an aside, I don't see how in ALL sports the unions are not up in arms about this sort of stuff. How can the mid-level vets (which make up the biggest part of ALL sports) allow unproven, never done anything rookies effectively take their money? When are they going to say enough's enough?

Now, I don't care. If Boras can convince someone to give a 22 year old who's only pitched against sub-par talent in college $50 mill, more power to him. (I am not saying anything about Stras' talent. This is about the stupidity of these clubs effectively bidding against themselves.)

I'm with you. My issue is this... until all professional sports teams decide to stop paying these outrageous contracts, etc... to unproven rookies or young players, they will always have this problem. It only takes one team willing to "bid up" to keep the market economics the way they are now. So in baseball, if no team is willing to sign ARod to another huge contract he's forced to sit out or take a lower offer. Unfortunately, with teams like the Yankees (just an example not Yankee bashing!) willing to pay whatever it takes or break the bank essentially, you end up with the same connundrum. Until all organizations say enough is enough and decide to all take a step back, the economics will not change and it will/should only get worse.

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I'm with you. My issue is this... until all professional sports teams decide to stop paying these outrageous contracts, etc... to unproven rookies or young players, they will always have this problem. Until all organizations say enough is enough and decide to all take a step back, the economics will not change and it will/should only get worse.

I believe that's called "collusion" and in the 1980s it led to a massive lawsuit and a $280 MM settlement payment by MLB to the players' union.

I'm not sure why you believe that things are getting "worse". Why should Esteban Loaiza get paid 10X what Tim Lincecum makes? Just because he is a veteran? A proven commodity?

I realize that all major league baseball players get paid absurd amounts of money. They work in an industry where, once you make it to the highest level, your minimum salary is $300K, and average is a few million. But within the context of those absurd pay levels, there is no reason why Strasburg -- who would probably be one of the top-100 or maybe even top-50 pitchers in major league baseball today -- shouldn't be paid according to his talent. No, he doesn't deserve Johan Santana money until he really proves he's worth it. But he probably deserves at least Estebal Loaiza money, or maybe even AJ Burnett money.

(Loaiza makes slightly over $7 MM per year)

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I believe that's called "collusion" and in the 1980s it led to a massive lawsuit and a $280 MM settlement payment by MLB to the players' union.

I'm not sure why you believe that things are getting "worse". Why should Esteban Loaiza get paid 10X what Tim Lincecum makes? Just because he is a veteran? A proven commodity?

I realize that all major league baseball players get paid absurd amounts of money. They work in an industry where, once you make it to the highest level, your minimum salary is $300K, and average is a few million. But within the context of those absurd pay levels, there is no reason why Strasburg -- who would probably be one of the top-100 or maybe even top-50 pitchers in major league baseball today -- shouldn't be paid according to his talent. No, he doesn't deserve Johan Santana money until he really proves he's worth it. But he probably deserves at least Estebal Loaiza money, or maybe even AJ Burnett money.

(Loaiza makes slightly over $7 MM per year)

Because he is unproven on the Major League level. That's why. If you look at the NFL for instance, the vets are angry, hell they are downright pissed that these college players come in and sign deals with 20mm+ signing bonuses having never taken a snap or blocked in an nfl game. The same thing holds true when we talk about baseball or whatever sport. I'm not disagreeing that Strasburg is the shiz or that he won't pan out to be an unbelievable talent over the course of a few years, but there are many many examples of people getting paid in sports and then falling into mediocrity or worse. It's my opinion that it is getting worse and something needs to be done to curb the outrageous amounts of money teams throw at college athletes and unproven athletes (at the highest of levels). You can disagree if you want, but if it was you, having played for a major league team for 5 or 10 years and you put your 200+ innings in a year and do pretty well and then you see a kid that's barely 20 or whatever come in and get drafted and sign a deal that as absurd as $50mm and having never pitched 200 innings in a year or pitched to professional hitters, etc... you'd be asking yourself what the hell is wrong with that picture. If you play to get paid you are more willing to care about the game, the vets, your teammates, your team, the city, etc... it's a ripple effect. If you pay a kid who has never played, you're asking for primadona status and the I play when I want to play attitude. Broad brush painting here, but you know what I mean.

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I believe that's called "collusion" and in the 1980s it led to a massive lawsuit and a $280 MM settlement payment by MLB to the players' union.

I'm not sure why you believe that things are getting "worse". Why should Esteban Loaiza get paid 10X what Tim Lincecum makes? Just because he is a veteran? A proven commodity?

I realize that all major league baseball players get paid absurd amounts of money. They work in an industry where, once you make it to the highest level, your minimum salary is $300K, and average is a few million. But within the context of those absurd pay levels, there is no reason why Strasburg -- who would probably be one of the top-100 or maybe even top-50 pitchers in major league baseball today -- shouldn't be paid according to his talent. No, he doesn't deserve Johan Santana money until he really proves he's worth it. But he probably deserves at least Estebal Loaiza money, or maybe even AJ Burnett money.

(Loaiza makes slightly over $7 MM per year)

And one more thing... I'm not implying or stating that organizations all get together and refuse to pay players. I'm saying that the industry as a whole has to take a step back and restructure the contract situations so that your pay increases as you play and the level you play at. By no means am I stating that we fall to under the table discussions or flat out collusion.

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Because he is unproven on the Major League level. That's why. If you look at the NFL for instance, the vets are angry, hell they are downright pissed that these college players come in and sign deals with 20mm+ signing bonuses having never taken a snap or blocked in an nfl game. The same thing holds true when we talk about baseball or whatever sport. I'm not disagreeing that Strasburg is the shiz or that he won't pan out to be an unbelievable talent over the course of a few years, but there are many many examples of people getting paid in sports and then falling into mediocrity or worse. It's my opinion that it is getting worse and something needs to be done to curb the outrageous amounts of money teams throw at college athletes and unproven athletes (at the highest of levels). You can disagree if you want, but if it was you, having played for a major league team for 5 or 10 years and you put your 200+ innings in a year and do pretty well and then you see a kid that's barely 20 or whatever come in and get drafted and sign a deal that as absurd as $50mm and having never pitched 200 innings in a year or pitched to professional hitters, etc... you'd be asking yourself what the hell is wrong with that picture. If you play to get paid you are more willing to care about the game, the vets, your teammates, your team, the city, etc... it's a ripple effect. If you pay a kid who has never played, you're asking for primadona status and the I play when I want to play attitude. Broad brush painting here, but you know what I mean.

I keep asking myself what the hell is wrong with the picture when:

* Juan Pierre gets 5 years $55 MM

* Carlos Silva gets 4 years $48 MM

* AJ Burnett gets 5 years $80 MM

If you had $50 MM to spend on your team, who would you rather have -- Stephen Strasburg for the next 6 years, or Carlos Silva for the next 4 years? Yes, Stras has never thrown a pitch in pro ball. But I'd rather take the upside potential of Strasburg than the proven mediocrity of Silva.

Now, I agree with you on attitude. But that holds for all players, whether they are the next top college prospect (Alvarez, Burrell, Drew, Strasburg) or a proven veteran. I don't have any reason to believe that giving a college kid $50 MM is more likely to lead to bad attitude than giving Bobby Bonilla $50 MM.

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This is a disgusting sign of greed. This is a damn good way to start off your major league career with everyone hating you. If this greedy punk really demands this much money, then I'll be rooting for him to fail right from the get go.

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This is a disgusting sign of greed. This is a damn good way to start off your major league career with everyone hating you. If this greedy punk really demands this much money, then I'll be rooting for him to fail right from the get go.

How can you call this kid a greedy punk? Honestly if your agent said "hey I can get you 50 million dollars." Don't even try to say that you would say no.

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This is a disgusting sign of greed. This is a damn good way to start off your major league career with everyone hating you. If this greedy punk really demands this much money, then I'll be rooting for him to fail right from the get go.

And if he does fail it further proof that demanding that $50M up front would of been a great business move.

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The "oohhhh bad economy is dying" argument isn't that meaningful because people are still going to games.

Strasburg is way more highly regarded (not just hyped - but scouting reports and numbers) than David Price was. Strasburg is way better than Price and will therefore get paid way more.

No, it's not going to be $50 million because all will happen if Washington doesn't sign him is that he goes back into the draft next year and Washington picks him again. He's not going to turn down say $25 million so he can hope for another $10 million - over the course of 6 years, possibly the next year when he has to negotiate with exactly the same team.

I'm thinking his package will be in the $25-$35 million range.

I also predict that he won't agree to it until the last possible moment and that he won't pitch an inning of professional baseball (that includes the minors) this season. They'll have him do some winter ball, and then compete for a role in spring training - possibly completely skipping the minors.

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The "oohhhh bad economy is dying" argument isn't that meaningful because people are still going to games.

Strasburg is way more highly regarded (not just hyped - but scouting reports and numbers) than David Price was. Strasburg is way better than Price and will therefore get paid way more.

No, it's not going to be $50 million because all will happen if Washington doesn't sign him is that he goes back into the draft next year and Washington picks him again. He's not going to turn down say $25 million so he can hope for another $10 million - over the course of 6 years, possibly the next year when he has to negotiate with exactly the same team.

I'm thinking his package will be in the $25-$35 million range.

I also predict that he won't agree to it until the last possible moment and that he won't pitch an inning of professional baseball (that includes the minors) this season. They'll have him do some winter ball, and then compete for a role in spring training - possibly completely skipping the minors.

The economy argument does apply. Whether people are buying tickets or not is irrelevent. The BASEBALL economy has changed. Again, look at the contracts that were signed in December vs. March. That's not typically what happens. It was the clubs that held leverage come Spring Training. I know that seemed unusual for me.

Now, that may change next year, because, as you're pointing out, seats are relatively filled. But, that's not where we are at NOW.

Also, as far as collusion - what I mentioned is for the Players' Union to step in. Baseball has no general cap, so it's not really applicable. But, in football and even with the modified cap in basketball, if money goes to the rookies, it can't go to the veterans. It's (sometimes not so) simple math.

But, in baseball, while there is no actual cap, you did hear of teams limiting their spending (See: Peavy, Jake - the silliest attempt at trading a player if there ever was one). So, if Washington pays $25 million to Strasburg, you better believe that factors into what they pay their other players next year and the year after, etc. (funny thing is, guys like Strasburg are blinded to the fact that they limit their own upward trajectory a bit by hamstringing the organizations they join).

Again - if he can get it, why not? I don't blame the player or his agent 1 bit. Free market works. Gov't run market DOES NOT (as is about to be proven once again).

But, I do agree, he will not be pitching in the pros (minors or majors) this year due to the contract talks.

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I also predict that he won't agree to it until the last possible moment and that he won't pitch an inning of professional baseball (that includes the minors) this season. They'll have him do some winter ball, and then compete for a role in spring training - possibly completely skipping the minors.

As long as we are tossing around random predictions, here's mine:

1. Signs on August 15th for $30 MM, five years (including bonus)

2. 20 IP in AA, 2.70 ERA, 26 Ks

3. Makes September cameo, two starts. 5 IP, 8 Ks in his first start, gets rocked in his second start, then shut down until spring

4. Starts the third game of the season behind Zimmermann and Lannan in 2010

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No prospect, much less a pitching prospect, is worth 25-30 million. Especially not one with Strasburg's mechanics. Regardless of whether he's more highly than Price or not is irrelevant. Price was considered the best college pitcher since Prior when he came out, and one of the best ever (dude has a fastball that can touch 99 MPH from the left side with an 86-90 slider)... Strasburg isn't worth more than double what he got... no one is.

I love Strasburg as a prospect and I cannot wait to see him pitch, but the rumored demands are flat out ridiculous.

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No prospect, much less a pitching prospect, is worth 25-30 million. Especially not one with Strasburg's mechanics. Regardless of whether he's more highly than Price or not is irrelevant. Price was considered the best college pitcher since Prior when he came out, and one of the best ever (dude has a fastball that can touch 99 MPH from the left side with an 86-90 slider)... Strasburg isn't worth more than double what he got... no one is.

The Cubs did exceptionally well with Mark Prior. They paid him a total of $11.8 MM for the time he spent with them. In that time, he provided:

42 wins to 29 losses

657 innings with a 3.51 ERA and 123 ERA+

That's a fantastic return on investment compared with Carlos Silva for $12 MM per year, or just about any other free-agent pitcher for that matter.

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By the way, correcting a previous mis-statement by me. If the Nationals draft Strasburg and don't sign him this year, they can't draft him again next year without his consent. Which I imagine, they won't get.

So it definitely puts the fire to Washington to sign him.

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This guy should ask for $50 million and not agree to play or sign for anything less. Just play in the independent league next year and they'll come crawling back. Trust me, this strategy is fail proof.

- Matt Harrington

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This guy should ask for $50 million and not agree to play or sign for anything less. Just play in the independent league next year and they'll come crawling back. Trust me, this strategy is fail proof.

- Matt Harrington

Actually, it's not fail proof. What if he gets injured? Then anything can happen from there. He has a chance to be set for life without throwing a professional pitch. If anything, what he should do is try to get a clause in his contract that he pitches this September and pending performance has a legit shot at being in the rotation so he can start his clock quicker and become a FA ASAP to really sign for the big bucks. Now I'm not saying have him become a FA coming 2011, but maybe sign a 4 year deal which is 2 years shorter then what Price signed.

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This guy should ask for $50 million and not agree to play or sign for anything less. Just play in the independent league next year and they'll come crawling back. Trust me, this strategy is fail proof.

- Matt Harrington

OK so he does as you say injures his arm in the TJ surgery needing way the detractors keep saying is inevitable. Now he may never be the same pitcher and for what? I'm sure he'd make less than $100,000 to play in the independent league. When he could be set for life by signing a $15M-$20M deal. It's all about risk and I think pitchers in general need to capitalize on their opportunities every chance they can. Sure he can ask for $50M but he has to be realistic when it comes right down to it.

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I'm not sure you two see the Matt Harrington part, you know the pitcher that was drafted early first round, turned down a pretty huge deal and demanded like a huge amount of money, went the into the draft the next year, signed boras to be his agent, became a late 2nd round pick, again declined a big signing bonus, then went into independent league, got draft the next year in like the 12th round again didn't sign a contract, next draft was draft near the end but didn't get a contract, then one more year he was drafted by the Yankees.

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I'm not sure you two see the Matt Harrington part, you know the pitcher that was drafted early first round, turned down a pretty huge deal and demanded like a huge amount of money, went the into the draft the next year, signed boras to be his agent, became a late 2nd round pick, again declined a big signing bonus, then went into independent league, got draft the next year in like the 12th round again didn't sign a contract, next draft was draft near the end but didn't get a contract, then one more year he was drafted by the Yankees.

No missed that part. It's hard to tell sometimes. If you go back a couple pages people were really saying that kind of thing.

Anyway, I think I'm over thinking this. Is there any reason I don't use my waiver priority to get Strasburg on the night of 6/9/09? This is the first day he's available in the league per the league rules. I think yes but for some reason the thought of not doing it keeps popping back into my head.

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No missed that part. It's hard to tell sometimes. If you go back a couple pages people were really saying that kind of thing.

Anyway, I think I'm over thinking this. Is there any reason I don't use my waiver priority to get Strasburg on the night of 6/9/09? This is the first day he's available in the league per the league rules. I think yes but for some reason the thought of not doing it keeps popping back into my head.

You most likely should, but it very well will be about 4 years before he makes any impact on your team. I'm not sure what the rules is for your league.

Normally most keeper leagues do some sort of draft to get these players and not waivers, but it depends on league rules.

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You most likely should, but it very well will be about 4 years before he makes any impact on your team. I'm not sure what the rules is for your league.

Normally most keeper leagues do some sort of draft to get these players and not waivers, but it depends on league rules.

Thats what I thought. I think I have to make the pick up.

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Update from CBS:

For the Nationals, the choice of which player to take with the first pick in Tuesday's draft is obvious: Stephen Strasburg. But the franchise must decide how quickly to bring him along, how many innings he should pitch, how much -- if any -- they should tinker with his delivery. And, above all, they must sign him. That could be the sticky part. Strasburg's agent is hard-dealer Scott Boras, who is expected to ask for a record contract. Needless to say, the negotiations will take a while. If the No. 1 pick isn't signed, the Nationals will receive the No. 2 pick next year as compensation and the player would become eligible to be drafted next year. If Strasburg's asking price is too high, Nationals president Stan Kasten says that's exactly what will happen. "We expect to sign this player," Kasten said. "But we're also prepared if that doesn't happen."

(Updated 06/06/2009).

The Nats playing some hard ball!... .I like it. You can't like Scott Boras run all over every team. If Strasburg doesn't sign this year it would be devastating to him and Boras. The Nats know that. Strasburgs stock does not get any higher than right now. The low budget Nats couldn't possibly throw this kid 30 mil.

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You most likely should, but it very well will be about 4 years before he makes any impact on your team. I'm not sure what the rules is for your league.

Normally most keeper leagues do some sort of draft to get these players and not waivers, but it depends on league rules.

Four years is a very, very conservative timetable to Strasburg. I mean look at guys like Price or Wieters, who were drafted only two years ago. Heck, Beckham was drafted less than a year ago and is already in the majors. And none of those guys is considered the player Strasburg is. Doesn't mean he'll live up to the hype, but he can make an impact pretty quick in theory.

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