Did the Nationals help Aaron Crow?

It’s been over a year since the Washington Nationals drafted Aaron Crow in 2008 and the still-amateur pitcher remains unsigned by anybody despite having already sat out one-and-a-half seasons.

After the debacle with the Nationals in 2008, Crow re-entered the draft and was selected 12th overall by the Royals. One might have thought after a yearlong layoff Crow would want to sign and play immediately, however when we last heard from him he had just turned down a $3 million offer from the Royals.

While almost every other player in the draft had to be signed by August 17th or else they would be forced to enter the draft the following year, Crow was a special case because he pitched in independent ball in 2009 (one game for Fort Worth). As a result, Crow has until the next draft to sign.

Waiting until after all the other first round picks have signed has given Aaron Crow a tremendous advantage. When Crow turned down the $3 million offer before the signing deadline, it came at a time when the majority of first round picks were unsigned. The $3 million offer was based on the value of the previous years contracts.

However, after Stephen Strasburg signed a $15 million deal, and Seattle signed second overall pick to a $7.5 million deal, Aaron Crow has an all-new bargaining position.

Without lifting a finger (or a pen) his price has gone up. By putting the price tag at $15 million on a top of the line, college-pitching prospect that is close to Major League ready, Crow and his team can easily argue that he is at least 1/5th of the investment that Strasburg is.

It’s a funny world. By opening up their pocket to get Strasburg, the Nationals actually inadvertently helped the player they discarded last year.

Sorry Kansas City.