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Out of people he can anger here, Scott Boras looks to Japan

Scott Boras is considering something unique with Stephen Strasburg:

This summer, Boras has another high-profile client, San Diego State pitcher Stephen Strasburg, for whom he would love nothing more than to blow apart baseball’s draft system, allowing Strasburg to be compensated in line with his talent--his asking price is believed to be around $50 million--as opposed to within the parameters of the current system, in which no player has ever received more than $10.5 million.

Even before talks began with the Washington Nationals, who made Strasburg the first overall pick June 9, Boras was dropping hints privately that he is preparing to explore a new frontier in his ongoing draft-busting crusade: Japan.

The general idea -- which I doubt he’d actually consider as opposed to simply threaten in an effort to gain leverage -- is to have Strasburg sign with a Japanese team, thereby ending his status as an amateur and making his “residency” Japan for baseball purposes, all of which Boras believes would take Strasburg out of the draft and allow him to become a free agent.

If I were the Nationals I’d call that bluff in a second. Japanese baseball is already extremely bent out of shape over its biggest stars coming to the United States to play, so I really can’t feature them taking too kindly to being used as a negotiation prop by Scott Boras. The only way this would work is if the Japanese agreed to waive their usual nine-year reserve system that keeps players locked up, and have very little faith that they would do that in Strasburg’s case.