The story has to be good when it has a perfectly alliterative headline, right? After days of speculation and negative reports to the contrary, the Nationals and Scott Boras got a deal done right before the deadline and the Nationals landed their prized pitcher. The signing prevents Strasburg from joining the likes of J. D. Drew, who sat out a while after his selection and it prevents the Nationals' fans from losing hope.
Of course, any prospect is a crap shoot. No matter how highly touted they come, they can fall just as easily as they can succeed. Just ask the Royals who demoted Alex Gordan to the minors this week. As such, it is impossible to understand why any top round draft pick wouldn't sign. Three first rounders didn't before the deadline. Aaron Crowe didn't get a deal done with the Royals, but he is no longer college eligible, so he has until next year's draft to get a deal. But still, he is losing time that he can never get back, which makes no sense at all.
Matt Purke, a high school senior, turned down the Rangers' final offer and will go off to college to while away two years until he can enter the draft again. Reportedly, he turned down a four million dollar signing bonus. What!? Is he nuts? There is no guarantee that he will do well in college and get close to this highly drafted again. There is no guarantee that he will be an effective major leaguer. And so he turns down a guaranteed $4 million that he doesn't even have to earn? Crazy.
The same can be said for LeVon Washington who must now toil away in junior college for two years until he can enter the draft again. The Bay Rays cut off negotiations with Boras concerning Washington earlier in the day of the deadline. Washington should have shot Boras after a deal didn't get done. But what's a couple of million dollars among friends?
If Strasburg had gone the same route, it would have been a colossal blunder and the pitcher had nothing to gain by not signing on the dotted line. As it is, the pitcher has lost two months as negotiations meandered around and if he had signed early, he might have even been seen in the majors this year. There is no way he will now.
But at least the deal is done and the Nationals and its fans have something to dream about. Strasburg is no guaranteed success, but if he turns out half as good as projected, the Nationals will have a good horse to build a team around.