Surprisingly, the Nationals Won't Pass on Greatest Pitching Prospect Ever(!)

The Nationals rotation: Not very good, as it turns out. Their best starter has been Shairon Martis, who we associate the word “best” with in an extremely relative sense -- he has a 4.60 ERA, 1.36 WHIP and .333 OBA. (Although he did throw a complete game over the weekend.) ↵

↵With the MLB Draft coming up next month (SN is blogging it all! Thanks to Gillette, the best a man can get!) and the Nats holding the No. 1 overall pick, acting Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo has a really, really though decision on his hands: Take the greatest pitching prospect in the history of ever, or take someone else. That prospect is Steven Strasburg, who has some mild hype surrounding him. Two months ago, Buster Olney penned a blog post which quotes scouts calling Strasburg the "best I've ever seen, and it's not even close." He throws a fastball with movement at over 100 mph and has an MLB-ready slider and change-up. So, I don’t know, I guess he sounds alright. ↵

↵

↵On Sunday, news broke via SI that Rizzo and the Nats will indeed select Strasburg, ending the suspense over whether or not the franchise would continue to fail miserably at everything. Now the issue is Strasburg’s agent, Scott Boras, who is expected to demand a six-year, $50+ million contract for the rookie. For comparison’s sake, Ryan Zimmerman, who has already (somewhat) proven himself in the majors, just signed a five-year, $45 million deal with the Nats. Basically, if they wanna sign Strasburg they’re going to have to pay him about as much as the face of the franchise. ↵

↵

↵And believe me: If they draft Strasburg, they really wanna sign him. Last year, then-GM Jim Bowden was unable to sign the team’s first overall pick, Aaron Crow. Crow and the Nats were reportedly just $700,000 apart. Crow went back to college and will re-enter the draft this year. Bowden went back to being unemployed. Hopefully the new Nats management won’t let a milly here or there stop them from locking up Strasburg this year. If they do sign him, he could very well be pitching in the big leagues by July. ↵

↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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