Tag Archives: Scott Boras

Nats sign Rafael Soriano, last year’s Yankees closer

Washington Nationals owner Ted Lerner is 87 years old and it isn’t unreasonable to assume he wants to win and soon.. The Nats are coming off of the best record in MLB, but had a first round playoff exit largely because the tired bullpen couldn’t hold a lead.

Superagent Scott Boras is well aware of Lerner’s wants and is the agents of several Nats players, some that were drafted by the team (Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper, Danny Espinosa), others than were picked up in free agency like Jayson Werth and the departed Rick Ankiel. Add to this Rafael Soriano, last year’s New York Yankees closer, who just signed with the Nats yesterday. So, did Boras find a sugar daddy in Lerner? Probably, but it isn’t the first time he’s done this and I think it has worked out for the Detroit Tigers (2 pennants in six years).

Two years, $28 million (though some of it is apparently deferred). This looks like a great signing, regardless of money, because who cares about the money. Here’s the Post story (
Rafael Soriano and Washington Nationals agree to terms on two-year contract worth $28 million) from Adam Kilgore who also speculated on signing Soriano on January 6 (What about Rafael Soriano?)

Thomas Boswell notes they are ALL IN.

OTHER THOUGHTS

Drew Storen wasn’t the only reliever to break down in Game 5, both Edwin Jackson (why was he in there?) and Tyler Clippard gave up runs. Storen blew it, but he had help and got squeezed on strike calls. I think he’s been scapegoated too much. He probably just got a jolt and wont’ get as many save opportunities, but will still get some in Davey Johnson’s A/B bullpen strategy.

Clippard’s arm is going to fall off sometime soon — he’s been so overworked the last few years. Bullpen depth is going to be critical.

Persumably, a full season of Strasburg and other starters being more seasoned means longer outings and the bullpen not getting worn out. That proved to be a problem in October.

This should be fun.

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UPDATED: Nats: Strasburg’s surgeon not consulted on shutdown story denied

Stephen Strasburg’s surgeon on Nationals shutdown: ‘I wasn’t asked’L.A. Times
UPDATE: The story has changed, or so they say. Here is the original report:
Remember that #strasburgopinons contest The Post did? Seems an important one was missed…

So, Washington Nationals general manager never consulted with Stephen Strasburg‘s elbow surgeon, Lewis Yocum in making the shutdown decision?

OF COURSE HE DIDN’T! (or maybe he did)

Wow, just wow.

So, Rizzo has some explaining to do. He basically got caught not doing his homework, outright lying, just being Scott Boras’ puppet or probably some of all three. Amazing.

I feel really badly for Strasburg he’s having to deal with this B.S. I’ve been on-board with shutting him down too, but whiskey-tango-foxtrot Rizzo. I expect Boras to have his own agenda, but my concerns that some of this is “LOOK AT ME, I AM SO IN CHARGE” behavior by Rizzo is completely valid.

Being a D.C. sports fan is pretty interesting. I’m too dumbfounded to be upset.

UPDATE

Stephen Strasburg surgeon clarifies role in pitcher’s shutdownL.A. Times

Dr. Lewis Yocum had told the Los Angeles Times that he “wasn’t asked” by the Nationals about whether to shut down Strasburg and had not discussed the subject with General Manager Mike Rizzo since last year.

On Thursday, Yocum clarified his comments by saying he and the Nationals — as well as Strasburg and his agent, Scott Boras — had agreed last year that the team would limit Strasburg’s innings this season. Over the course of this year, Yocum said, he has spoken with Rizzo and the Nationals’ medical staff but has left to the team the decisions about how and when to shut down Strasburg.

Yocum and Rizzo spoke on Aug. 13, as Strasburg approached his innings limit. The Nationals ended Strasburg’s season after his Sept. 7 start.

Okay. Weird story, somebody isn’t being honest I don’t think.

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Nats rain out means split with Phillies; Werth’s season to date

Due to yesterday’s rainout, the Washington Nationals split a series with the Philadelphia Phillies. Um, yay? Friday night ¡LIVAN! was awesome going 6 2/3 inning and getting 2 hits (mlb.com video). Saturday night, well at least John Lannan made a great play in an otherwise debacle of a ball game (mlb.com video), an 11-3 loss filled with errors.

Today in The Post, Jayson Werth is profiled as he tries to turn his season around which may be happening. While I agree that the disappointing four months we’ve seen so far don’t matter long-term, I’m feel a little uneasy. Also, his former manager, Charlie Manuel is quoted extensively, seeming to suggest not to worry. I’ll admit I’m a little skeptical of ol’ Cholly though. He plays the aw shucks demeanor about the Nats from time to time, but I can’t help but feel he’s being disingenuous.

Scott Boras probably wants to remind us and the Nats that the deadline to sign 2011 draft picks is tonight (The Nats Enquirer) and I think all the the major ones will sign. Forgive me if I don’t stay up and wait.

I listened to Friday’s game on MLB Audio and thought Charlie Slowes did well as the single-combat warrior with Dave Jageler filling in on MASN. I didn’t see or listen to any of Saturday’s game, so I cannot comment on Slowes and Todd Kalas or on Jageler’s TV performance. If they break apart the Slowes-Jageler pairing, I’ll be disappointed, but understand.

Radio-TV simulcast anyone?

Oh look, Thomas Boswell is back chatting!

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Nats sign #1 overall pick Bryce Harper at 11:59

Washington Nationals sign Bryce Harper to $9.9 million contractThe Post
Zuckerman: Nats Sign Harper Before DeadlineCSN Washington
Nats, top pick Harper agree to five-year dealnationals.com
With Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg and Ryan Zimmerman, the Nationals now have three franchise playersThe Post
The Washington Nationals signed #1 overall pick Bryce Harper to a $9.9 million major league contract with a $6.25 million signing bonus included. The 17 year old former Sports Illustrated cover boy is expected to play in the minor leagues for 2-3 years. Nats scouting director Kris Kline compared Harper to Jason Heyward. Kline, who had drafted Heyward while with the Atlanta Braves would not elaborate on which one he thought had more potential.

The contract terms were not agreed to until 11:59 p.m. yesterday, coming down to the wire. Harper actually signed later than Stephen Strasburg did last year. Both players are represented by uber agent Scott Boras, so this was not unexpected. Nats president Stan Kasten and Mike Rizzo both expressed that they had doubts up until the final minute that the deal would get done. Kasten celebrated by sticking a shaving cream pie in Rizzo’s face. Someone else put the Silver Elvis wig (remember that? On Elvis death day too) on Rizzo.

Harper will join the Gulf Coast League and likely the Arizona Fall League. He will be introduced to D.C. during the Nats next homestand.

More draft coverage coming over lunch.

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Does Scott Boras have too much influence over the Nats?

The Washington Nationals and Bryce Harper, #1 overall pick of the 2010 MLB draft, have less than 12 hours to reach an agreement on a contract. Not doing so would mean Harper would have to re-enter next year’s draft and the Nats would have to settle for a new pick in next year’s draft. He is represented by uber-agent Scott Boras who just happens to represent last year’s #1 pick, Stephen Strasburg. You may recall that Strasburg/Boras and the Nats reached agreement 1 minute, 17 seconds before the deadline. I expect Harper to sign, probably with similar drama.

This morning, The Post published an interesting column by Thomas Boswell about Boras’ relationship with the Nats. I learned that Boras and current manager Jim Riggleman were teammates in the minor leagues — Riggleman would lend Boras his car on Sunday’s for church. Also, I was not surprised that Boras suggested Strasburg would be disinclined to sign if Jim Bowden were the general manager. Whether that led to Bowden resigning of his own free will being sacked, I cannot say though that scenario would be a feather in Boras’ cap.

Boras and the Nats, especially principle owner Ted Lerner, really got to “know each other” during the run up for Mark Teixiera, who ultimately went to the Yankees. Boras likes to deal directly with the owners. Stan Kasten, Nats president, does not think too highly of Boras. Other Boras clients on the Nats roster include Ivan Rodriguez and Alberto Gonzales. Did the Nats bring in Rodriguez in part to grease the skids a little for the Harper signing? Hmmmm…

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Winter meetintgs day 2: Nats try to justify Pudge signing, find a starter

Catching some by surpriseThe Post
Signing future Hall of Fame catcher Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez for two years continues to be a head-scratcher for many following the Washington Nationals. The team is trying to explain the decision to give him a contract that doubles his salary from the previous year, despite being on the downside of his career and having questionable mentoring abilities. Rodriguez is also a Scott Boras client by the way. He needs to pass a physical too.

Day 2 drawing to a close The Wash. Times
More analysis but also a pretty strong point — the Nats have not really developed any position players yet. Ouch.

Nationals looking to land a starterThe Wash. Times
The Nats need more pitching and second tier starters like Jon Garland, Joel Pineiro and Vicente Padilla. Stan Kasten seems to like them because they won’t cost $10 million a season.

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Strasburg signing: The day (and 1 minute 17 seconds) after

Nats see no need for speedThe Wash. Times
Don’t expect to see Stephen Strasburg on the mound anytime soon. The Nationals do not plan on rushing him up to Washington, instead saying they want him to work on pitching program at their spring training home in Viera, Fla. and then the Arizona Fall League. We’ll see if they stick to those plans.

A Franchise, and a City, Pin Their Hopes on a Mighty ArmThe Post
Ah, hyperbole! As for Strasburg, he is said to be embarrassed by the $50 million talk from his agent Scott Boras and planned to sign all along.

Opening Day, 2011The Post
A projected Opening Day 2011 lineup. It will be interesting to check back then and see how close it is to being accurate. This one doesn’t look like a pennant winner to me.

Strasburg is one piece of many still needed. He looks to be a great piece. They still need a real middle infield and first baseman. They will need more outfielders too. We shall see, but the good news is the days of 100 loses and “Nats Fail” should be coming to an end.

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Nats sign #1 overall pick Stephen Strasburg

Strasburg Signsnatsfarm.com
It’s a Deal: Strasburg, Nationals AgreeThe Post
Strasburg, Nats finally agree to contractThe Wash. Times
Rizzo on Strasburg Deal – Nationals Journal, The Post
Nats come to terms with top pick Strasburgnationals.com
Strasburg, Nationals agree to record-setting $15M contractUSA Today
Nats, Strasburg beat deadlineESPN
Nats award Strasburg $15.67 mil contractSan Diego Union-Tribune
NatsTown can exhale now after 70 days of holding its breath. San Diego State pitcher and #1 overall pick of the 2009 Amateur Draft Stephen Strasburg has signed with the Washington Nationals. Terms are believed to be $15+ million over four years. I am shocked he signed for that little, even with “no where else to go” professionally for at least a year. I would have liked to have seen the duration longer, but the important thing is he signed and under club control for the foreseeable future. It would have been nice if they could have bought out some arbitration years, but the Lerners seem averse to paying low upfront. Their money, not mine!

Nats president Stan Kasten said that the trip he and ownership took to Southern California last week convinced them Strasburg wanted to pitch soon, his “ultra-ultra competitiveness” had him tired of sitting around the house. I don’t know if we will see him this year since he’s had such a long layoff. The signing was announced at 11:58:43 which led Kasten to say “People thought it would take until the last minute. We didn’t even need that last minute.” Well played, Stan, well played. GM Mike Rizzo was said to lead the negotiations for Washington.

Uber agent Scott Boras has got to be pretty pleased with himself as well. He did not get the $50 million he had floated out there, but he got his client a $7.5 million bonus and did not sell any arbitration years which could be huge for Strasburg. Kasten also said Boras was good to work with this time around.

Strasburg is expected in D.C. in a few days, perhaps Wednesday night’s game could be good news for Fritz, who has tickets that night.

Teh PLAN lives 1!!!!!1!

Thom Loverro: The Strasburg era arrives, for nowThe Wash. Times
There goves Loverro, being a wet blanket by pointing out things that could happen like elbow surgery, etc. no Thom, Strasburg’s going to awesome and throw several no-hitters every year. Take it to the bank!

Nationals Insider: At last, nothing worth ridiculingThe Wash. Times
Signing Strasburg goes a long way to restoring credibility to the Nats, something desperately needed, even if Strasburg never pitches a major league game.

I expect a column from Thomas Boswell by lunch today, I’ll link to it.

By the way, I linked to natsfarm.com first because Brian Oliver got the story up first. Well done, sir.

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Kwame Strasburg

Examining the Strasburg Situation The Wash. Times
The Stephen Strasburg watch, slated to last until August 17, is not something that excites me terribly. I expect it to be long, drawn out and completely un-newsworthy until about August 15 or so. I don’t feel like blogging about it too much. The above link may be the last mention I’ll make about him for sometime, though I suppose links to articles both in blog posts and in my Google Reader Recommended Reading box will likely continue.

I expect that the Nationals sign him and agent Scott Boras to do pretty well for himself. As for Strasburg’s future with the Nats, I’m hoping he’s more Alex Ovechkin than Kwame Brown.

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Strasburg won’t be here anytime soon; Wilbon on the situation; Storen signs

Signing Strasburg likely to take timeThe Wash. Times
In his limited media availability Stephen Strasburg was talking about taking a vacation and working out, knowing full well that he won’t be signed anytime soon. Scott Boras is his agent we are well aware of how Boras does business. This thing won’t be over until August 17, it’s a lock.

MICHAEL WILBON – A Risky ChoiceThe Post
Ladies and gentlemen, I believe we have the very first Michael Wilbon column about the Washington Nationals. Can anybody else recall him writing one in the five seasons that they have played here? I cannot. Has he even ever been to Nationals Park? Also, note the dateline of the article.

Anyway, you know how Boswell often cited statistics about pitchers drafted #1 overall? Wilbon does that here, noting that no one them won a Cy Young. Sure its true, btu we’re talking about independent events here, what Andy Benes or Tim Belcher did has absolutely no bearing on what Strasburg will do.

Get this:

This notion that the Nationals needed to draft Strasburg as a show of faith to the team’s fans is insultingly absurd. You know how you build and keep a loyal fan base? Put a credible product on the field. Be competitive year after year. Forget about the symbolism of drafting and signing the kid rated No. 1 and instead acquire the best players. How much could Strasburg affect attendance if he’s pitching approximately 16 times at home?

Of course you need a credible product on the field, but you need a credible effort from the front office to put that product on the field. Does anybody who actually follows the Nationals believe that has been the case up until this point?

Nats get Storen in the fold quicklyThe Wash. Times
#10 overall pick, Drew Storen, came to Washington and signed with the Nats yesterday. He signed for below his market value which probably went okay with ownership. He has a great backstory too:

But the story goes back even further than that. It picks up in 2003, when the Nationals were still the Expos and Storen was a batboy for the team whenever it would get close to his hometown of Indianapolis.

His father, Mark Patrick, who used to be a baseball analyst on XM radio, knew former Montreal trainer Ron McClain and arranged for Storen to come over from Indianapolis to Cincinnati for a series against the Reds.

Storen met rookie closer Chad Cordero and decided then he wanted to work the ninth inning in the big leagues.

“It was kind of when the dream started, like, ‘Hey, I really want to do this for a living,’ ” Storen said.

So when Storen signed with the Nationals on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after the team drafted him with the 10th overall pick, and stood in front of reporters with his flat-brimmed hat pulled low over his eyes, it felt like the completion of that dream.

Facinating, hopefully he’ll lead the league in saves some year like Cordero did in 2005. Hopefully, he’ll do it without the heart palpations that Cordero caused.

Future Closer Storen Is Signed, DeliveredThe Post

Uncovering a Draft Philosophy
So there is speculation that all of the talk about “draft the best player available” is missing the qualifier, “as long as he’s cheap.” That may be true, but Nationals Farm Authority suggests that there may be more to it and that is is actually good news.

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