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“I take great comfort in that,” Gwynn said, “because I know who his adviser is going to be, and I know he has a history of drawing it out.”

Rumors of Boras asking for a six-year, $50 million deal have been floating around all spring. Nationals acting general manager Mike Rizzo has a good relationship with Boras and signed several high-profile clients of his while with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The agent also spoke positively of the Nationals during the Mark Teixeira sweepstakes in December.

The dance of the negotiations has fascinated Gwynn, who never made more than $6.3 million a season during his 20-year career with the Padres. His immediate response when the Nationals come up is a wide-eyed “You think they’re gonna sign him?” and when Strasburg leaves the program, Gwynn will limit his role to an interested - if informed - bystander.

He said he has had a conversation with Strasburg about entering professional ball, during which Gwynn stayed on his message that getting to the majors is the ultimate goal.

“You’re going to get to the big leagues; you’re going to make a gazillion dollars if you’re good. If you’re good, you’re going to do fine,” Gwynn said. “But I don’t know if Scott believes that. I don’t know if he believes the same thing. I wonder if he thinks you should get it all up front. But either way it goes, I think he’s going to be fine.”

Strasburg is enjoying his last few weeks at school cordoned off in relative calm. His biggest concerns are final exams and the growing throng of autograph seekers that await him every time he steps off a bus or walks through campus.

About the only thing he does better than light up radar guns is throw cold water on the topic of the draft. He said he won’t think about it “probably until June 8.” He shares a house with Aztecs catcher Erik Castro, pitcher Jon Berger and two former San Diego State players who razz Strasburg every time he shows up on “SportsCenter” and talk with him about the draft as little as possible.

“We want to let him have friendships with people because everyone’s talking about the draft, everyone’s talking about how well he’s doing this year,” Castro said. “So we just kind of try to be there as friends, not talk to him about it.”

But Castro admits that he, like everyone else, is excited to see what happens when his roommate, who golfs with him, plays video games with him and fires triple-digit fastballs into his mitt, becomes the face of a new team June 9.

Asked if Strasburg has been spotted in any Nationals gear around the house, Castro laughs and says: “No, no, not at all. Not at all. I’m sure he will, though, once he gets drafted.”

To a Nationals fan, that’s the sweetest image this season can produce.

“I don’t think to him it matters if it’s a Nationals uniform, a Mariners or a Padres,” Gwynn said. “Whoever gives him that opportunity, that’s where he wants to play. That’s the impression I’ve gotten since I’ve known the kid, and I don’t think it’s going to change. There’s some loyalty that comes from the organization that gives you the opportunity. And I think it’ll be that way with him.

“Hopefully, he’s the first piece of [the Nationals] getting things going in the right direction. That would be pretty awesome, to be that guy who people said helped turn it around.”