It must be the economy.
For the first time is his superagent career, Scott Boras has caved. Boras represented San Diego State pitcher Stephen Strasburg who was the first overall pick in this year’s Major League Baseball amateur draft by the Washington Nationals. The pair were reportedly seeking a $50 million deal from the Nationals.
They didn’t come close.
There was even 1 minute and 17 seconds left before the 12:01 signing deadline imposed by Major league Baseball when Boras and Strasburg agreed to a $15.1 deal with Washington. That was an all-time record for a player selected in the draft, but it was WAY short of what Boras had been demanding. Early reports had Boras seeking the $50 million deal for Strasburg. Even early on Monday Boras appeared stuck on $20-22 million, only to eventually back down.
Strasburg was arguably the top college pitching prospect in history. Boras’ career has been all about breaking barriers and finding loopholes to get his amateur players (many of them pitchers) record-setting contracts. Strasburg seemed the perfect candidate to receive a mind-boggling signing bonus. The agent had tried to compare Strasburg with ace Japanese pitcher Diasuke Matsuzaka who received a $52 million contract (negotiated by Boras) when he came to the states and signed with the Boston Red Sox. He contended that Strasburg deserved just as much money. No Dice-K.
There were numerous reports that if Strasburg didn’t sign with Washington it would blow up the entire structure of the MLB Draft and be a key sticking point in the upcoming collective bargaining agreement in two years. The Strasburg deal also destroys any delusions Boras may have had about a rumored $100 million contract demand for Las Vegas prep star Bryce Harper.
An update on a couple of other amateur pitchers we’ve written about this year:
Oklahoma State pitcher Andrew Oliver, who successfully sued the NCAA over being able to hire an agent, got a $1.495 million bonus and signed with Detroit. Oliver was the Tigers second round draft pick.
Meanwhile, high school pitching legend Patrick Schuster signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks last week. Schuster threw four consecutive no-hitters for his Florida high school earlier this year. He was drafted in the 13th round by the Diamondbacks. Schuster got a $450,000 signing bonus.
ANDREW OLIVER: HERO PITCHER TOOK THE NCAA TO COURT
HIGH SCHOOL NO-HIT LEGEND PATRICK SCHUSTER