August 2009

The breakdown of Strasburg deal

Right-hander Stephen Strasburg agreed to a Major League contract with the Nationals. Here is the breakdown of the deal.
 
$7.5m signing bonus payable
$2.5m 15 days from approval
$2.5m 1/10/10
$2.5m 1/10/11
 
Salaries
2009 – $400,000  (pro-rated)
2010 – $2.0m
2011 – $2.5m
2012 – $3.0m
 

College Tuition – Two semesters at $16,000 per semester
 
Incentives
$50,000 — Rookie of the Year
$50,000 — All-Star Game
$25,000 — Gold Glove
$25,000 — League Championship Series
$50,00 — World Series
$100,000 — CY Young Award 
$80,000 — For finishing second in the Cy Young award voting.
$60,000 — For finishing third in the Cy Young award voting.
$40,000 — For finishing fourth in the Cy Young award voting.
$20,000 —  For finishing fifth in the Cy Young award voting. 

Nationals have plans for Strasburg

Right-hander Stephen Strasburg, the Nationals’ No. 1 pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, is tentatively scheduled to be introduced at a press conference Friday at Nationals Park.

Strasburg will stay with the team until Monday and then go to Viera, Fla., to get his arm back in shape. He hasn’t pitched in a competitive game since late May.

The Nationals are hoping that Strasburg will pitch in the Instructional League and then play in the Arizona Fall League.

Acting general manager Mike Rizzo said it’s highly unlikely that Strasburg will pitch in the Major Leagues this season or at the start of next season. 

“Strasburg hasn’t pitched competitively since the 28th of May, so typically it’s a four or five week process to ramp him up [and let him pitch competitively],” Rizzo said. “It’s very unlikely [that he will pitch in the big leagues]. We expect to develop him at a usual pace. Hopefully, when he gets to the big leagues, he is ready to be here and he is everything that we think he is going to be here.”

Strasburg, 20, went 13-1 with a 1.32 ERA in 15 starts this season at San Diego State University en route to being named the Golden Spikes Award winner. He struck out 195 batters and issued just 19 walks in 109 innings.

Marrero promoted to Double A Harrisburg

The Nationals have promoted Chris Marrero from Class A Potomac to Double A Harrisburg on Sunday.  Marrero was hitting .287 with 16 home runs and 65 RBIs.

Nathan Karns agrees to terms with Nationals

The Nationals agreed to terms with right-hander Nathan Karns, who was selected in the 12th round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft.

Karns, 21, went 4-5 and fanned 57 in 13 starts this season for Texas Tech. Karns was originally drafted by the Astros in the 10th round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, but did not sign.

He began his collegiate career at North Carolina State, but transferred to Texas Tech after his freshman season. Karns is currently pitching in the Texas Collegiate League, where he is 4-0 with a 1.20.

With Monday’s signing, the Nationals have now agreed to terms with 28 players from the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, including 13 of their top 15 picks.

Nats call up Mike Morse [update]

To replace Logan Kensing on the roster, the Nationals have purchased the contract of infielder Mike Morse from Triple-A Syracuse. Morse, who came from the Mariners in the Ryan Langerhans trade last June, is hitting .327 with six home runs and 31 RBIs for Syracuse.

Dunn puts everything in perspective regarding Strasburg

While the Nationals are trying to sign Stephen Strasburg to a record contract, first baseman Adam Dunn put it all in perspective regarding the right-hander recently. 

“I’m on the fence about it, because the organization is doing everything it possibly can, from what I hear, to sign him and not embarrass him or the organization,” first baseman Adam Dunn said. “I heard that they already offered him a record contract. How much more does he need?

“It’s very frustrating for me, and I can imagine it’s frustrating for everybody in here. I can understand how frustrating it is for ownership. I wish they would hurry up and get it done.”

Though Dunn believes that Strasburg could make a difference, he also believes there is a risk in signing him. In 1999, for example, the Reds drafted a left-hander named Ty Howington. Dunn went so far as to call Howington the best pitcher he’d ever seen and thought that Howington would play in the Majors, but he never advanced past Double-A because of shoulder problems.

“He was a [six-foot-five] lefty who threw 95 miles per hour,” Dunn said. “Personally, he was the best I’ve ever seen. I knew he would be in the big leagues the next year, at 20 years old, pitch for 20 years and be the best player ever. I really thought that. But there are a lot of things that could happen.”

Nats designate Logan Kensing for assignment

The Nationals designated reliever Logan Kensing for assignment after Sunday’s game against Reds.

Kensing was given the news by interim manager Jim Riggleman, pitching coach Steve McCatty and acting general manager Mike Rizzo, when the team arrived at Nationals Park later that night.

Kensing was 0-2 with a 10.71 ERA in 17 games for Washington.

On Saturday, Riggleman acknowledged that he was baffled about Kensing’s performance of late. In his past six appearances, Kensing gave up 12 runs in his past 7 1/3 innings. Riggleman doesn’t think there is something wrong with Kensing’s arm. In Saturday’s game against Cincinnati, in fact, Kensing’s fastball was clocked at 96 mph.

“[Pitching coach] Steve McCatty and I talk about it a lot,” Riggleman said. “Something is easy to see for the hitter or Kensing is tipping his pitches, because when you throw that good and [the hitters] square the ball up on him like they have the last couple of weeks, something is wrong there.

“He throws too good to get hit that hard. We hope he gets it straightened out. We wanted to him have a clean inning and build on it. It just didn’t happened.”

It’s not known who the Nationals will call up on Tuesday. The Nationals are considering either outfielder Justin Maxwell or infielder Mike Morse, who are with Triple-A Syracuse. 

Maxwell had two stints with Washington this season, going 3-for-24 with an RBI. Morse, who came from the Mariners in the Ryan Langerhans trade last June, is hitting .327 with six home runs and 31 RBIs for Syracuse.

Strasburg offered record contract

The Nationals have offered Stephen Strasburg a record contract for a pitcher coming out of the First-Year Player Draft, a baseball source confirmed to MLB.com. The Washington Post was the first to report the story on Saturday. 

The source did not give a dollar amount, but it is more that the $10.5 million right-hander Mark Prior received after the 2001 First-Year Player Draft.

Team president Stan Kasten did not return a phone message and acting general manager Mike Rizzo, who is on the road trip with the Nationals, declined to comment on the Strasburg situation. 

The source said the Nationals did not come away believing that will reach a deal with the right hander before the midnight deadline on Monday. In fact,  Kasten was realistic and told the Associated Press that Strasburg may not sign.

“With 48 hours to go, I simply have no idea whether we’re going to be able to reach a deal,” Kasten told AP.

The Nationals feel strongly that Strasburg can make an immediate impact in their rotation, maybe joining the team’s Major League roster sometime in September.

If he is promoted to the big leagues this season, Strasburg will become only the third pitcher in baseball history to be drafted No. 1 and play in the Majors in the same year, joining Rangers left-hander David Clyde in 1973 and Orioles right-hander Ben McDonald in ’89.

Strasburg, 20, went 13-1 with a 1.32 ERA in 15 starts this season at San Diego State University en route to being named the Golden Spikes Award winner. He struck out 195 batters and issued just 19 walks in 109 innings.

“This kid is so impressive. We have nothing but the highest regard for him. If he wants to come and begin his career right now — and do so with the largest contract ever given to any drafted player in the history of Major League Baseball — we can help him accomplish that,” Kasten told AP. “But if this is more about changing the whole way an industry does business, then we won’t be able to reach a deal.

“We think he’s not just a draft pick–we think he’s a special player, which is why we extended ourselves as much as we did, and will continue to entertain any other issues or concerns he might have in order to get him signed.”

 

Storen staying in Minor Leagues

Right-hander Drew Storen, the Nationals’ first-round pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, continues to have success in the Minor Leagues.

Now with Double-A Harrisburg, Storen has two saves and hasn’t given up a run in two innings. However, don’t look for Storen to be in the big leagues this year. He most likely will end the season with Harrisburg and then play in the Arizona Fall League.

“I’m encouraged that he is taking several steps toward where we think he is going to be — quicker to the big leagues,” acting general manager Mike Rizzo said. “We put him in Double-A before the Aug. 17 deadline for the Arizona Fall League. You have to be in Double-A to play there. If all goes well, he will pitch there.”     

Nationals sign Roberto Perez

The Nationals agreed to terms with shortstop Roberto Perez, who was selected in the eighth round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft out of Dorado (PR) Academy.

Perez, 18, had originally committed to played baseball at Oklahoma State University. He is the nephew of former big league shortstop Dickie Thon.

With today’s signing, the Nationals have now agreed to terms with 27 players from the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, including 10 of their top 12 picks.

 

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