There are benefits to stinking as much as the Nats did last year. This June, Nats fans are likely to see the biggest, as the team will have the first draft pick. Over the weekend the Post profiled the likely pick, San Diego State righty Stephen Strasburg.
Strasburg's ceiling is as high as any prospect in years. And his resume continues to grow. He was the only amateur player on last year's Olympic team, and not many pitchers can say they've had a 23-strikeout game.
As that profile rises, the pressure on Uncle Teddy Lerner to make the financial commitment to Strasburg is going to grow. He's represented by the villainous Scott Boras, who's sure to extract a pound of flesh in these negotiations. It's likely that Strasburg is going to ask for upwards of $10 million as a bonus.
Some argue that the Nats' protracted negotiations with Boras for Mark Teixeira will help here. While the communication channels might be improved, the idea that Mr. Hardline is going to bend a little because he likes Uncle Teddy's caviar selection is not based in reality.
The pressure is even higher for the Nats considering last year's bungled negotiations with their first-rounder, Aaron Crow. No matter who you want to blame, it didn't get done, and the Nats' system is the worse for it.
The second first-round pick they got for not signing Crow will present its own challenge.
Will Boras' demands for Strasburg make Teddy put away the checkbook, forcing the Nats to take a safer signability selection? Or will the Nats draft aggressively and funnel some of the money they're not spending on the MLB roster into taking two primo talents?
If Strasburg is a given with the first, it's that second pick that's going to determine whether their draft is a home run or a grand slam.
Given the falling farm rankings, four runs sure sounds better than one.
Chris Needham used to write Capitol Punishment before becoming an undrafted free agent.