When Lucas Giolito was drafted in the first round by the Washington Nationals, he was seen as the ultimate high-risk, high-reward proposition. It's suddenly looking like the risk half of that equation might win out.
If Giolito could remain healthy, he could use the almost un-hittable, triple-digit fastball and precision point curveball that once made him a likely top overall pick in the MLB entry draft. If he couldn't, the Nats would have to spend millions of dollars to obtain a pitcher with a long road of recovery in front of him and an uncertain future in baseball.
After the draft, Giolito and the Nats spent more than a month negotiating a deal, eventually agreeing to a contract that included $2.925 million in signing bonus money despite his health concerns. The deal was struck just minutes before the deadline for Giolito to sign, or else he would have had to head to UCLA, where he had committed to play.
At the time, Nats officials cheered. Now they may be ruing the very contract they celebrated just weeks earlier.