Thom Loverro of the Washington Times has a column today in which he relays comments that former Washington Nationals GM Jim Bowden made on a radio station in Los Angeles. Bowden — who resigned under fire on March 1 — says that the Nats have already made the decision to draft Stephen Strasburg, the San Diego State phenom.
If true — and I don’t doubt it for a second — that would be bad news for the Mariners, who are drafting second and would no doubt pounce on Strasburg if he dropped to them. But the Mariners have been prepared for the likelihood that Strasburg won’t be there for them.
Here’s what Bowden said, according to the Times:
“Washington is going to draft Strasburg. The decision has already been made. It was made when I was there. That is who they are going to take. … This is the best amateur pitcher since I was born. He is that good – his delivery, his stuff, 100 miles an hour in the eighth inning, his makeup. He’s got the entire package. … Strasburg is going to be drafted by Washington. You think they are going to sign him early? No, it’s going to be Aug. 15 at 11:57 p.m. It will end at around $15 million, about under $35 million of what Scott [Boras] wants, but that is where it ends up. It will be record-breaking, and he will be pitching in the big leagues in September. He is that good.”
Interesting stuff. Of course, Bowden is full of bluster, and the Nats, I suppose, could still back out if Boras’s demands are unbearable. But as I’ve written many times, the Nationals have their franchise credibility on the line with this draft pick. They aren’t going to let Strasburg get away, Boras or no Boras.