Nine Unassisted: Strasburg signs; Marshall makes demands

With one minute and 17 seconds left on the clock, the Washington Nationals signed Stephen Strasburg, the top pick in this year's draft, to a record-setting deal (four years, over $15 million). The Nats reportedly agreed to terms with Strasburg and his advisor, Scott Boras, at 11:58:43 pm ET. Because apparently Boras had someplace he needed to be at 11:59.

Considering some of the ludicrous numbers tossed out as potential Strasburg contract totals – as much as $50 million – this has to be considered a small victory for Washington. Strasburg is considered a generational talent, a 21-year-old capable of hitting 103 mph. Washington's acting general manager Mike Rizzo called him, "The most coveted amateur player in the history of the Draft and a potential front-line starting pitcher for the Washington Nationals." But will he pitch in the majors this year? Here's more Rizzo: "We have to figure out where he's at, how in shape his arm is, how much we have to ramp him up before he can start pitching competitively."

[This deserves a record-setting number of links: Federal Baseball,, Rizzo interview via the Washington Post, contract specifics at the Los Angeles Times]

Freshly exonerated Broncos receiver Brandon Marshall(notes) would like a new deal, or he wants out. Again. Denver's counter offer: No new deal, no trade. So the two sides appear to be far apart. Check the link for more details on the friction between the team and Marshall. [Denver Post]

If Jim Bowden were asked to bid on Strasburg on "The Price Is Right," he would have absolutely nailed it: "Three minutes before the deadline, to a contract in the 15 million dollar range." And he didn't go over. He'd win both showcases. The family would join him on stage, giddy. [Beyond the Boxscore]

TD Hill offers an opinion on where to buy your handcuffs, and when to avoid them altogether. Important takeaway: Don't handcuff unless you can reasonably expect the back-up to deliver a significant percentage of the starter's value. Also, in committee situations, the handcuff is often prohibitively expensive. [Football Jabber]

If we have to ask the question at all, then yes, it's probably time to worry about Jonathan Broxton. Monday's two-K scoreless inning was much needed. Broxton has blown three of his last five save opportunities. [Fake Teams]

There's really not much strategy written for those of you playing in two-quarterback leagues. RotoWire offers assistance. But I have to say, I wouldn't go QB-QB, even at the turn. Not in a format where you can start three RBs. And a few of those targeted players won't be there, djm. That's awfully late on Pierre Thomas(notes) and Darren McFadden(notes), and the buzz is building on DeSean Jackson(notes). [RotoSynthesis]

"They all end the same way with a home run ball," said Lou Piniella, referring to Kevin Gregg's latest blown save. Scott was all over this situation in last night's Closing Time. Expect a committee to form today, likely with Carlos Marmol at its head. [Muskat Ramblings,]

Eagles tight end Brent Celek(notes) (shoulder) is participating in individual drills, so his semi-sleeper status appears safe. In other news, Philly's offensive line isn't so healthy, but Brian Westbrook(notes) is: "Westbrook made a full return to practice today, taking part in every facet in what some of the players were calling the toughest practice of the preseason." [Bird's Eye View, Philadelphia Inquirer]

Mercifully, the Twins have placed Francisco Liriano on the 15-day disabled list with a "tired arm." Ron Gardenhire described Liriano's mindset this way: "He's pretty frustrated out there. He feels like there's not much left in the tank." [Minneapolis Star Tribune]


Photo via US Presswire

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