Jon Heyman's latest column notes two things we should probably be afraid of:
First, apparently Boras isn't kidding about the $50 mil demands. Heyman's key quote: "Now Boras is said to want $50 million on a six-year contract, a contract proposal that was first floated as a possibility by Peter Gammons. It seemed fanciful when it was first thrown out there. But apparently it's deadly serious. Besides [fictional player Sid] Finch, executives say they believe the other comparable player Boras sees is Daisuke Matsuzaka, who got $52 million over six years from the Red Sox after starring for years in the Japanese League. Boras, who declined to comment, apparently is suggesting the tens of thousands of previously drafted players over the past 40 years aren't in Strasburg's league."
Yikes. Even if he chooses $30 mil as his sticking point, the Nats will pass. Unless his demands are between $10 and $20 mil, I don't see the Nats signing Strasburg. I do think that, in the end, they will get it done, but just the rumors are scary to think about (not in terms of money, but in terms of "oh no, we might not get Strasburg!").
Second (and in the long run, more important): Heyman says that Rizzo and Bowden both wanted to meet Crow's asking price, but the Lerners and Kasten wouldn't budge from $3.3 mil. That is scary. The first round of the draft is not the time to be cheap when you have a team whose minor league system, frankly, sucks. Enough of this "precedent" garbage. Just get it done.
Moving along, Chico Harlan posted up the Nats who are out of options over at Nats Journal.Here's how I see them stacking up, from most likely to make the roster to least likely:
* Joel Hanrahan, Josh Willingham, Willie Harris, Daniel Cabrera, Anderson Hernandez, Ronnie Belliard-locks
* Steven Shell, Mike Hinckley, Kory Casto-Casto and Hinckley should not make the team, and Shell is iffy, but I can see all 3 making it. Since the Nats are starting with 14 hitters, Casto will probably break camp with the team, and I would expect Shell to as well. Hinckley is probably headed to waivers/Syracuse in my opinion.
* Wily Mo Pena (gone)