At precisely 11:58:43 p.m. Monday night, Mike Rizzo heard the words he needed to hear from Scott Boras: “Deal.”
Yes, Stephen Strasburg signed with the Nationals with 77 seconds to spare before the midnight deadline. Why not push it a little more, guys? “We didn’t even need that last minute,” Stan Kasten joked.
We’re still working on precise contract details, but here are a few nuggets from Baseball America…
The actual signing bonus is $7.5 million. He’ll make a prorated portion of the league minimum ($400,000) the rest of this season. Total salary over the next four years will be $7.6 million, increasing each year. That makes the total guaranteed money $15.1 million. There are likely some incentives that could push that total value higher.
So what’s next? Well, Strasburg will fly to D.C. (possibly tomorrow, maybe not til Wednesday) to meet his new teammates, the media and the fans. I would suspect he’ll be throwing out a ceremonial first pitch somewhere in there.
Where will he play? The Nats weren’t saying tonight, though there is a plan in place. But suffice it to say, he’s on a major-league contract, so he’d be making a lot of money to be in the minor leagues. I think we’ll see at least one token appearance up here in September, then he’ll be in the rotation in 2010.
Couple quick quotes from Mike Rizzo and Stan Kasten…
“We’re very happy to add him to a growing list of upsided, right-handed-pitching starters. It’s a big day for the Washington Nationals. It’s a big day for the fans of Washington, D.C. And it’s a big day for the city of Washington.”
On how Monday went: “There was back and forth throughout the day. We started early in the morning. The group of us got together at 9 o’clock this morning, and we’ve been together throughout the night. It’s been a pretty consistent flow of back and forth. And of course, the last couple of hours, and specifically the last 45 minutes, the energy level ramps up and it gets a little exciting.”
On Scott Boras: “Let’s give Scott credit. I’ve seen Scott when he’s difficult. Scott was pretty darn good through this process. Pretty darn professional. A lot of things have been going on behind the scenes that people didn’t know about. You knew about the lunch we all had. But there were other things. I think Scott deserves a fair share of credit.”