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Nationals Look To Capitalize On Strasburg On And Off The Field
Published August 20, 2009
|Nationals Will Introduce
Strasburg Friday Afternoon
ON THE RIGHT PATH: SI.com's Jon Heyman wrote under the header, "Strasburg Signing Tops Off Nats' Recent Run To Respectability." The Nationals had "no choice" but to sign Strasburg. The leverage is "normally with the team," but in this case, with the Nationals "again holding baseball's worst overall record and coming off a year in which they failed to sign No. 1 pick Aaron Crow, Strasburg held a bit of leverage, as well." An exec from another MLB team said, "They did really well considering they had no choice but to sign the guy." However, another exec contends, "They probably could have gotten it done lower." Heyman wrote, "Perhaps that's so, but the Nats absolutely could not take that chance" (SI.com, 8/19).
A JOB WELL DONE: In DC, Mark Zuckerman reports the Nationals today at a 4:00pm ET press conference are expected to announce that acting GM Mike Rizzo has been awarded the "full-time job." Rizzo, who has served as acting GM since March, has "continued to make a strong impression on Washington's ownership group," and the "clincher" was his ability to negotiate with Scott Boras and sign Strasburg. This comes despite recent reports that the team was "on the verge of hiring" D'Backs VP/Player Personnel Jerry Dipoto (WASHINGTON TIMES, 8/20). An MLB source indicated that the team "made the decision that Rizzo was its man a couple of days ago" (MLB.com, 8/20). In DC, Chico Harlan writes the move eases a "major source of uncertainty within the organization" (WASHINGTON POST, 8/20). The AP's Howard Fendrich writes giving Rizzo the full-time job "lends a measure of stability to a franchise that rarely has enjoyed any" (AP, 8/20).