Nationals Can't Risk Big Money on Unproven Talent

Jimmy DinsmoreContributor IJune 12, 2009

SAN DIEGO, CA- APRIL 3:  Starting Pitcher Stephen Strasburg #37 of the San Diego State Aztecs throws from the mound against the UC Davis Aggies during their game on April 3, 2009 at Petco Park in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

The Washington Nationals drafted phenom Stephen Strasburg with the No. 1 overall pick in the MLB Draft.

No shock. And if they hadn't, the Nats would've escalated even further down the laughing stock chain. But, they now have a problem.

Strasburg's agent is Scott Boras. You know, he who has a pointy tail, horns, a pitch fork, and makes teams sign contracts with their own blood.

Boras is saying it's going to cost the Nats $50 million to sign Strasburg. The Nats need to hold pat and offer Strasburg a fair, but not outlandish deal.

Mark Prior had the biggest contract from the draft of anyone in history, around $20 million. The Nats need to go about $25 million and tell him take it or leave it.

If the two can't reach a contract agreement by August 15, Strasburg will have to wait a whole year and be re-drafted again.

The Nats need to play this game of chicken because they can't afford to risk $50 million on a kid who is only reported to be a "can't miss" prospect.

How many "can't miss" prospects have come through the Majors who have missed? More than anyone can count. Every year baseball is riddled with them.

I'm not claiming that Strasburg will fall into that category. I don't know. A 100 mph fastball is awesome, and it's certainly worth a big contract.

But for the good of all of baseball, the Nats must hold tight and not drive the MLB Draft toward the level of absurdity that the NFL has gone to. These kids shouldn't get ridiculous amounts of guaranteed money until they prove themselves.

Hopefully, the Nats follow this advice.