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DonRocks

Stephen Strasburg (1988-), Washington Nationals' Pitcher - First Pick in 2009 MLB Draft, Now With a 7-Year $175 Million Contract Extension

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1 hour ago, Pat said:

He [Bryce Harper] walked 3 more times today (one intentionally), to lead the league with 40 total and 10 IBB. (Not playing the second game because he's serving his suspension.)

And after this game, Stephen Strasburg is now 6-0.

"Washington Nationals 6-4 Over Miami Marlins: Stephen Strasburg Improves To (6-0) With The Win" by Patrick Reddington on federalbaseball.com

About Strasburg's contract, I just found this:

"Stephen Strasburg's $175 Million Contract is Mostly Smoke and Mirrors and is a Brilliant Ploy by Super Agent Scott Boras" by Cork Gaines on businessinsider.com

(Here's the thread on Scott Boras.)

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On May 15, 2016 at 8:58 PM, DonRocks said:

About Strasburg's contract, I just found this:

"Stephen Strasburg's $175 Million Contract is Mostly Smoke and Mirrors and is a Brilliant Ploy by Super Agent Scott Boras" by Cork Gaines on businessinsider.com

That is such a simplistic, one-sided take on the deal.  Of COURSE he signed a contract that is beneficial to him.  It's also beneficial to the Nats.  Had he gone to free agency in 2016-17 with the year he's having so far and no injuries, most analysts think that he would be getting Scherzer money (multi-year deal valued at $30M+). The Nats probably would have lost him to free agency.  Now the best case scenario: they get 3-4 years AT HIS PRIME, defer a bunch of money, and then let him go during free agency to somebody else who will pay MORE money.  Meanwhile they get those supposed $30M+ years at a real discount.  Boras didn't pull one over their eyes; he compromised to get his client financial security (his job).  Every big pitching contract is one major injury from being a bust, but you have to play that game to keep talent.  I think you are going to start seeing more of these deals in the future.

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4 hours ago, TedE said:

That is such a simplistic, one-sided take on the deal.  Of COURSE he signed a contract that is beneficial to him.  It's also beneficial to the Nats.  Had he gone to free agency in 2016-17 with the year he's having so far and no injuries, most analysts think that he would be getting Scherzer money (multi-year deal valued at $30M+). The Nats probably would have lost him to free agency.  Now the best case scenario: they get 3-4 years AT HIS PRIME, defer a bunch of money, and then let him go during free agency to somebody else who will pay MORE money.  Meanwhile they get those supposed $30M+ years at a real discount.  Boras didn't pull one over their eyes; he compromised to get his client financial security (his job).  Every big pitching contract is one major injury from being a bust, but you have to play that game to keep talent.  I think you are going to start seeing more of these deals in the future.

I loved your post. Of course we all remember in 2012, when the Nats sat Strasburg for the rest of the season because he hit his innings count for the year. He was showing no signs of fatigue, and the Nats really *needed* him for the playoffs - in fact, they just might have (and probably would have) gone up 2-0 on the Cardinals in the first round, but instead, they lost the second game, and we all know what happened.

Oct 10, 2012 - "Player Wants Strasburg on Roster" on espn.go.com

If the Nationals were going to use Strasburg for a few more years and let him go, then of *course* they would have kept pitching him. This was a *clear* sign - to anyone who was paying attention, including Scott Boras - that the Nats intended Strasburg to be a long, long-term National if not even a lifer. How could it be anything else? A catastrophic injury would reduce his trade value in a year? *Maybe*, but he was showing absolutely *no* signs of fatigue. It was clear this team wanted Strasburg for the long haul. 

The people that gained the most benefit from this decision have been ... everyone, including the fans, the Nats, and including Strasburg and Boras. In chess, you don't announce what you're going to do three moves ahead, and the Nats did just that by sitting Strasburg in 2012. To me, they weren't thinking, "Let's use this guy like a pack horse, and send him out to pasture when he's finished"; they were thinking, "This guy's going to be with us for a long, long time, and we don't care who knows it." I disagreed with the move at the time, and maybe I still do, because the sad truth is that playoffs are golden opportunities in sports, and you have to seize those opportunities when they arrive. But you know what? The Nats sticking to their guns - regardless of whether or not it was an overly conservative decision - was a rare example of a major sports franchise *not* going for immediate, short-term gains, showing concern for an individual (regardless of whether or not that concern would also help the franchise), and not making a decision based purely on money. Or ... was it? Was it a brilliant long-term, financial gambit that deceived everyone, and benefited the Nationals - and the Lerners - in the long-term?

May 4, 2016 (the week before the contract) - "Strasburg will Seemingly Benefit from 2012 Call" by Jon Paul Morosi on m.mlb.com

Reading that article now, two weeks later, is fascinating, and it leads me to believe that the Nats and Boras were in contact about this for quite awhile. Strasburg must have been frustrated at the time in 2012; now, he's most likely grateful to the team, and if Boras has a shred of moral decency, he should be, too. Perhaps a back-room deal was made that Boras would give the Nats first dibs on Strasburg before he hit the open market. I agree with Ted that if Strasburg wins 20 this year, or possibly even the Cy Young Award (at 7-0, that cannot be completely discounted) he would have been primed for a Scherzer-like contract, and if the Nats went after him, they probably would have lost Harper - now, they can still conceivably retain Harper as well. Wouldn't *that* be something?

Along with the brilliant, but young, Harper and Strasburg, the brilliant, but aging, Scherzer gives the Nationals three bonifide strato-stars that can win championships in the short-term. Scherzer will eventually slow down, and when he does, that will free up salary room to go after another young gun or two to match with Harper in his late 20's and Strasburg in his early 30's (this is, of course, a best-case scenario). With rare exceptions of things such as Moneyball, big-league championships cost big-league money, and the Lerners have shown every indication of being willing to spend it, and spend it intelligently. Are they dealing with the devil in Scott Boras? Perhaps so, but you know how the old saying goes: "He might be a scumbag, but he's *our* scumbag," and if that's the case, then they're making a wise choice because Scott Boras isn't going away - you may as well stay on his good side.

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3 hours ago, DonRocks said:

I disagreed with the move at the time, and maybe I still do, because the sad truth is that playoffs are golden opportunities in sports, and you have to seize those opportunities when they arrive.

Ask the Matt Harvey of 2016 what he thinks about the Mets' decision to run him deep into the playoffs last year in a similar situation ... or just watch a replay of last night's game.

People also forget that Detwiler's replacement start in 2012 was a gem!  Scattered 3 hits for a single run.  In hindsight sitting Strasburg had zero effect on the playoff outcome.

This was a great article in the Post detailing the behind-the-scenes build up to his extension signing: No one expected a Stephen Strasburg extension. Then Scott Boras made a call.  

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1 hour ago, TedE said:

People also forget that Detwiler's replacement start in 2012 was a gem!  Scattered 3 hits for a single run.  In hindsight sitting Strasburg had zero effect on the playoff outcome.

You might be right (I don't remember all that well), but wouldn't Strasburg have started game 2, in which the Nats got shellacked? If so, he probably would have won it, and the Nats would have gone up 2-0, and that's a huge psychological advantage (Detweiler, as you know, started game 4).

I think the Nats should have saved Strasburg's innings by spreading them out later into the season (I distinctly remember thinking this at the time - what on earth were they thinking?) - then, he would have been under his inning count come playoff time (which, it must be stressed, was a total guess - an educated guess, but a guess all the same). I'm not familiar with the exact details of Harvey, but it can't have been the *exact* same situation, for the reasons just described. Did anyone ever say why the Nats didn't spread his innings out so he could have had some left for the playoffs? (Ted, would you mind giving us a brief synopsis of Harvey's situation, or perhaps pointing us to 1-2 good articles that describe it? I know that Boras is his agent, too - I wonder if Boras has something to do with these innings counts.) 

Anyway, regarding these innings counts, this is all brand new guesswork, and I don't trust the medical field in terms of "having come up with *the* number" at this point - the sample size isn't large enough, and each individual is different. Fifty years from now, I'd bet that the thought process will be completely different. Certain injuries and procedures, despite what the medical profession claims, take years (not months; years) to come back from, and that often means coming back to a mere shadow of what you were, and that's if you come back at all: Sometimes, having surgery will hurt you more than it helps you, and it can hurt you in ways that can compromise or even ruin your life - trust me, I know this first-hand.

I'm going to read that Post article now - I also want to read DaveO's article about RGIII, because as far as I knew, one day he was kicking ass, then he got hurt, and the Redskins played him hurt, and he's never been the same after that. I looked at the article, started reading it, realized how long it was, then stopped until I had some time - if it makes a strong case for it *not* being the team that ruined his career for playing him while he could barely walk (which has always been my assumption), that's going to be some prize-winning journalism.

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2 hours ago, DonRocks said:

You might be right (I don't remember all that well), but wouldn't Strasburg have started game 2, in which the Nats got shellacked? If so, he probably would have won it, and the Nats would have gone up 2-0, and that's a huge psychological advantage (Detweiler, as you know, started game 4).

I think the Nats should have saved Strasburg's innings by spreading them out later into the season (I distinctly remember thinking this at the time - what on earth were they thinking?) - then, he would have been under his inning count come playoff time (which, it must be stressed, was a total guess - an educated guess, but a guess all the same). I'm not familiar with the exact details of Harvey, but it can't have been the *exact* same situation, for the reasons just described. Did anyone ever say why the Nats didn't spread his innings out so he could have had some left for the playoffs? (Ted, would you mind giving us a brief synopsis of Harvey's situation, or perhaps pointing us to 1-2 good articles that describe it? I know that Boras is his agent, too - I wonder if Boras has something to do with these innings counts.) I'm going to read that Post article now - I also want to read DaveO's article about RGIII, because as far as I knew, one day he was kicking ass, then he got hurt, and the Redskins played him hurt, and he's never been the same after that. I looked at the article, started reading it, realized how long it was, then stopped until I had some time - if it makes a strong case for it *not* being the team that ruined his career for playing him while he could barely walk (which has always been my assumption), that's going to be some prize winning journalism

A couple of thoughts:

- Gio pitched Game 1 of that series, Game 2 in which they got rocked was started by Jordan Zimmermann.  If I remember, the thinking was that Staras would have pitched that first game at home, and everybody shifted back a game.  That is all just a guess, because we don't know what would have happened in the hypothetical alternate time line where Strasburg doesn't get shut down (or stretched out to bank innings, or whatever). I think if you value him that much you give him Game 1 at home.  Gio was arguably the staff ace that year, so maybe he was the better chance of going up 2-0.  JZimm of 2012 was not JZimm of 2014 (or 2013 for that matter).  Who knows, it's playoff baseball!

- Harvey was in an almost identical situation to Strasburg regarding the timing of their TJ surgeries and seasons back from that recovery.  Stras was shut down right at 160 innings; Harvey tossed 220+ last year.  It's speculation whether that means anything, of course, and you have to wait a couple years to see how he progresses compared to Stras' relatively slow come back.  Remember, he was only average-to-good post-2012, with a few stints on the DL, until he came back to full time in the second half of last season.  Been lights out since that. Given the frequency of young pitchers to have the procedure done in the first few seasons of their pro career we may actually have some better data in the next decade or so.  You can't tell me that GMs aren't looking at Strasburg and Harvey right now, though, and asking whether the Nats got it right.   Not only with the shut down, but with the way they handled *any* sign of injury in the following two seasons.

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1 hour ago, TedE said:

Harvey was in an almost identical situation to Strasburg regarding the timing of their TJ surgeries and seasons back from that recovery.  Stras was shut down right at 160 innings; Harvey tossed 220+ last year.  It's speculation whether that means anything, of course, and you have to wait a couple years to see how he progresses compared to Stras' relatively slow come back.  Remember, he was only average-to-good post-2012, with a few stints on the DL, until he came back to full time in the second half of last season.  Been lights out since that. Given the frequency of young pitchers to have the procedure done in the first few seasons of their pro career we may actually have some better data in the next decade or so.  You can't tell me that GMs aren't looking at Strasburg and Harvey right now, though, and asking whether the Nats got it right.   Not only with the shut down, but with the way they handled *any* sign of injury in the following two seasons.

Can you believe they actually went so far as to have him meet with a sex counselor to ensure that he knew how to masturbate with his left hand? He claimed he did that anyway, but they still made him meet with her like three or four times because he couldn't prove it - I can't remember the exact details, but I remember the column very well, and also remember being surprised it didn't get more press - it was one of those "truth is stranger than fiction" incidents.

And if you believe me, then I'm the best bullshitter in the world. Hey, we were talking about Andy Kaufman, so ....

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11 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

Can you believe they actually went so far as to have him meet with a sex counselor to ensure that he knew how to masturbate with his left hand? He claimed he did that anyway, but they still made him meet with her like three or four times because he couldn't prove it - I can't remember the exact details, but I remember the column very well, and also remember being surprised it didn't get more press - it was one of those "truth is stranger than fiction" incidents.

And if you believe me, then I'm the best bullshitter in the world. Hey, we were talking about Andy Kaufman, so ....

Please tell me your account has been hacked...

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10 hours ago, MC Horoscope said:

This year's All Star Game starting pitcher will be chosen by Joe Maddon, manager of the Chicago Cubs, and he will probably pick his own man Jake Arietta to start. But you could argue that the honor should be Strasburg's. Oh well, it's just an exhibition game.

You could argue that they're all just exhibition games. That said, it would be no crime to choose Arietta, unless he collapses between now and then.

Only four pitchers this century have finished an entire season with 10-or-more victories and 0 losses - it Strasburg were to stop pitching tomorrow, he'd make five.

Jun 17, 2013 - "Max Scherzer and Pitchers with the Longest Winning (Undefeated) Streaks to Start a Baseball Season" by Vin Getz on sportslistoftheday.com

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I agree! The honor of being the starting pitcher in the All Star Game, for me, is rightly judged not only by one's record THIS year but also by one's record in the last post season. It's a valedictory. Arietta would be a good choice for his National League champion manager Joe Maddon to select.

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This has to be the quietest 11-0 start ever.  He'll probably be the 5th or 6th named NL starting pitcher at the ASG!!!  Maybe says more about the strength of NL pitching this year than anything else.

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22 minutes ago, TedE said:

This has to be the quietest 11-0 start ever.  He'll probably be the 5th or 6th named NL starting pitcher at the ASG!!!  Maybe says more about the strength of NL pitching this year than anything else.

Maybe not *the* quietest (Dave McNally opened the 1969 season at 15-0), but I'll tell you what: If this goes on much longer, you're going to start hearing the name Roy Face brought up.

Hitters win MVP Awards; pitchers win the World Series.

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2 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

Maybe not *the* quietest (Dave McNally opened the 1969 season at 15-0), but I'll tell you what: If this goes on much longer, you're going to start hearing the name Roy Face brought up.

I meant quiet in the relative media attention it is receiving.  More ink has been spilled recently on Kershaw's injury and Arrieta's naked ass.

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13 minutes ago, TedE said:

I meant quiet in the relative media attention it is receiving.  More ink has been spilled recently on Kershaw's injury and Arrieta's naked ass.

I know what you meant. Ironically, if Strasburg wins two more games; then goes out with a season-ending injury, he'll set the single-season record for most wins without a loss (which currently belongs to Tom Zachary at 12-0). A *lot* of pitchers have started off winning 10 games, but they inevitably lose - only four have finished with 10-or-more victories and no losses. BTW, no pitcher has ever gone 20-2.

So if Strasburg wins 2 more, then gets hit by a bus, he'll have an all-time record; if he goes 6-1 the remainder of the season (which would be even better), he'll be a forgotten piece of type on a stat sheet.

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3 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

I know what you meant. Ironically, if Strasburg wins two more games; then goes out with a season-ending injury, he'll set the single-season record for most wins without a loss (which currently belongs to Tom Zachary at 12-0). A *lot* of pitchers have started off winning 10 games, but they inevitably lose - only four have finished with 10-or-more victories and no losses. BTW, no pitcher has ever gone 20-2.

So if Strasburg wins 2 more, then gets hit by a bus, he'll have an all-time record; if he goes 6-1 the remainder of the season (which would be even better), he'll be a forgotten piece of type on a stat sheet.

Any good Sabermatrician worth his or her slide rule will tell you that win-loss records don't mean shit:

Quote

if you're going to look into stats for pitchers, looking at K%, BB%, HR/9, BABIP, GB%, FIP, xFIP, and WAR is going to give you a much richer picture than misleading and less useful statistics like wins, saves, and ERA

For the rest of us an 1x-0 record at the All Star break is something to cheer about.

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34 minutes ago, TedE said:

Any good Sabermatrician worth his or her slide rule will tell you that win-loss records don't mean shit:

For the rest of us an 1x-0 record at the All Star break is something to cheer about.

I know this too, and I don't agree with it - we could *easily* start a separate thread for this topic. W-L records will *always* have deep meaning - even if only psychological meaning - to the average baseball fan. Sabermetrics has gone overboard, I think.

BTW, this topic *is* something I'd like to learn more about, so if you have any suggestions, I'm all ears.

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1 hour ago, Pat said:

Strasburg is not pitching in the ASG. Replaced by Scherzer.

Has anyone ever been 11-0 and *not* been selected to the All-Star team? 

No complaints about Scherzer, but not over Strasburg - not right now. The article states that it has to do with rest, but Scherzer is scheduled to pitch tomorrow!

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18 hours ago, DonRocks said:

Has anyone ever been 11-0 and *not* been selected to the All-Star team? 

He was selected. He chose not to participate. And I understand. I would certainly rather that he use his energy on Nats games than on the all-star game.

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