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Nationals May Not Sign Stephen Strasburg Prior To Aug 17 Deadline

The Washington Nationals may be in jeopardy of not signing their first round pick Stephen Strasburg prior to the Aug. 17 deadline, this according to Pedro Gomez of ESPN.

A source in the story does admit that the Nationals have been in contact with Strasburg's advisor Scott Boras, but no formal offer has been made other than the mandatory minor league contract that teams must offer to a draft pick within 10 days of the draft. The standard minor league deal is for $1,000 per month, and doesn't include any bonus money. I'm going to go out on a limb and say Strasburg doesn't agree to that offer.

Nationals interim General Manager Mike Rizzo has however made it clear that the team is speaking to Strasburg, and they certainly understand the importance of getting a deal done.

"There are a lot of things that are happening behind the scenes that nobody is going to know about because we're not going to talk about it," "People in the front office, we know what Stephen Strasburg means to our major league ballclub," Rizzo told the Washington Post.

Boras has said that if the team doesn't reach a deal for Strasburg he might look into alternative options, including possibly sending Strasburg to Japan.  However, it's unlikely this would actually happen, but never underestimate Boras who is always looking to reinvent the market.

Originally it was believed that Boras was seeking a deal for roughly $50 million for Strasburg, but in this current economy that's completely unrealistic for a player with no major league experience.  Most experts believe if a deal is reached it would be more in the area of $20-$25 million.

Strasburg has been regarded as the best young pitcher to enter the game since Mark Prior was drafted in 2001. The San Diego State right-hander went 13-1 with a 1.32 ERA last season and won the Golden Spikes Award as the top amateur player in the United States.

Here is my advice for the Nationals. GET A DEAL DONE NOW! Strasburg is arguably the first thing National fans have been able to get excited about since the team's existence. Failing to sign Strasburg would be a tragedy for baseball, and more importantly a tragedy for the Nationals.

There is no escape for the Nationals on this one. Boras has you pinned down, and rest assured he knows it.

Hey but one bit of good news for Nationals fans. You're expected to have the number one pick again next year, so you'll probably get to deal with this all over again. Matter of fact it's probably going to be worse. It's expected that high school star Bryce Harper will be the consensus number one pick, and take a wild guess whom might be representing Harper???