Strasburg, Nationals need each other 

August, 17, 2009
As the Stephen Strasburg negotiations wore down toward the Monday deadline (midnight ET), it started to become as political as health care. It is, after all, Washington, and so as Scott Boras stuck to his pledge to privatize the bargaining, the Nationals campaigned, in case they cannot come to an agreement.

Nats president Stan Kasten warned fans that Strasburg, like 2008 No. 1 pick Aaron Crow, might not sign. Naturally, he blamed Boras and touted the greatest offer ever made, greater than the record $10.5 million the Cubs gave Mark Prior in 2001. Of course, since MLB revenues have more than doubled in the last eight years, that boast was a little deceptive, but well-leaked. Then one of the team's house organs trashed Boras and Strasburg.

From the beginning, many felt that somehow, some way, Nats owner Ted Lerner and Boras would compromise on some deal -- multi-year, $20-something million, whatever -- that would make Strasburg the symbol of the building of a franchise. No one knows what Boras would do with Strasburg if he were to reject Washington's offer -- go back to San Diego State, pitch in an independent league, or go to a foreign country and try to claim real free agency.