Most people think that once you draft a player in MLB that signing them to a contract is a done deal. The easy part for the Washington Nationals was drafting Stephen Strasburg in June. The hard part was getting him to agree to a contract by the deadline of midnight Monday. The Last time the Nationals were in this position they failed to reach an agreement with first-round selection, Aaron Crow, a pitcher from Missouri.
I think this gave them a real sense that they had to get this done. With 1 Minute and 17 seconds left until the deadline, the Washington Nationals score a huge deal last night with the record breaking $15.1 million over 4 years signing of Strasburg.
Strasburg comes to the Nationals from San Diego State University. With the Aztecs last season, he lead all Division 1 pitchers in ERA (1.35) and strikeouts (195 in 109 innings), and won the Golden Spikes award for the top U.S. amateur baseball player. He has the ability to come in and be effective immediately. I would expect for the Nationals to feature him this season after giving him a few starts in the minors. Strasburg features a100 mph fastball which sets up an absolutely knee-buckling breaking ball.
What the Nationals hope is this will be the piece of the puzzle they have been searching for. Mike Rizzo the Nationals G.M. said “We thought we signed the player for his value,” calling Strasburg “the most coveted amateur player in the history of the draft.” Giving them a true number one starter next season, that will be exciting for their fans, and sends a message around the league that the Nationals are serious about putting together a winning team.