From Heyman, who says that the Nats have offered “at or above $12 million”:
While the Nats are offering a contract above Prior’s record deal, Strasburg’s agent Scott Boras is said to be using Matsuzaka’s $52 million bonus as the baseline. That doesn’t mean they wouldn’t come off that number. But it likely means they don’t believe $12 million is a fair number. Or even a close number. Strasburg’s people believe he is worth several times that and shouldn’t have to sign for what they believe is a fraction of his true value. They also don’t see any reason to hurry to get Strasburg onto a mound after he threw 109 innings for San Diego State.
Only a handful of people really know what goes on in negotiations like this, but I wonder if anyone has ever said “well, Scott, I appreciate that you believe your guy to be worth $X million, but do you have any basis for saying so aside from whatever else it was that came out of your butt when you made that demand?”
Maybe $12 million is too low a number for some good reasons, but it strikes me that when the market consists of a single bidder, notions of abstract “worth” on the part of the commodity in question are not the most important consideration.
And at the risk of falling into silly populism, how does one go home and tell their mama that they turned down $12 million+ to play baseball?