Scott Boras -- who represents Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg, among other high-profile Washington players -- told The Washington Post that he agrees with general manager Mike Rizzo's plan to shut down Strasburg before season's end. The comments echo similar sentiments he made on ESPN Radio's Mike and Mike program this week.
Boras told The Post that Strasburg signing with Washington after the club made him the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft was contingent upon the club putting the hurler's health before anything else.
"The good thing about Rizzo, when I had Strasburg -- and you know he was a 20-year-old draftee, a year early -- I said, 'Look, you want to draft these players? Great, but you know what? I'm not on board,'" Boras said to the newspaper. "We won't sign, and I'll send them back to college. I want to make sure we have an organization that will put the health of these players first."
Boras also represents Washington rookie Bryce Harper (another former No. 1 pick), outfielder Jayson Werth, infielder Danny Espinosa and several Nationals Minor League prospects.
Rizzo said early in the year he would keep Strasburg on an innings limit to preserve the ace right-hander's health after he underwent Tommy John surgery late in the 2010 season. Having thrown 139 1/3 innings this season, Strasburg is likely to have his season cut short by two or three starts. He is also expected to miss the postseason, should the first-place Nats make it for the first time since baseball returned to Washington before the 2005 season.
"Mike was like me, a former player," Boras said of Rizzo. "You played pro ball, you understand. And Mike understands the benefit, long-term, of making sure medical health, a player's health and the development of a player is appropriately done. He gets that."
Boras said he spoke to Strasburg about the opinions of medical professionals, most notably Dr. Lewis Yocum, who performed the surgery. And though Strasburg may not necessarily want to be shut down early, Boras said there are larger matters at play.
"The expectancy that we have to have is for the betterment of the game," Boras told Mike and Mike. "And the betterment of the game is that we want these great young talents to be in our game a long time. And we want them to go out and have storied careers."