Monday, August 17, 2009

Greedy Stephen Strasburg

It's draft signing deadline, and you know what that means! Just like last year with Brian Matusz, lots of grumpy people complaining about Stephen Strasburg!! Fortunately, Joe Sheehan hits the nail on the head:
"The time from draft day to the signing deadline is the only time for perhaps a decade—and perhaps ever—that a player has any kind of negotiating leverage. Once he signs with a team, that team owns him until he accumulates six full seasons of major league service time. How can you possibly blame a person for wanting to
maximize his return on the only negotiation in which he’ll have any leverage for at least six years, possibly an entire decade, and in many cases ever? The idea, popular among players and ex-players who seem to have no grasp of the structure under which they play, that a draftee should just sign for whatever’s available and start his career because he’ll get paid if he performs, that's just laughable on its face...Stephen Strasburg could win Rookie of the Year and finish third in the NL Cy Young Award voting in 2010, and make $400,000 in 2011. He could be even better in '11, racking up a ton of innings as the Nationals make a wild-card push, and make $400,000 in 2012. The next time Strasburg will be able to do more than just ask for money, entirely at the team’s mercy to give it to him, is the winter of 2012-13. The first time he’ll be able to negotiate with more than one team is the winter of 2015-16, unless the Nationals diddle with his time on the roster, in which case it’ll be 2016-17. That’s a long time from now. That’s a lot of innings from now, and he might never get there—he might be great, like Prior, out of the box, and never get paid because that’s how the system is set up."

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