Nationals president says draft pick signing setup is "silly"


Shortly after celebrating the signing of No. 1 pick Bryce Harper by hitting general manager Mike Rizzo in the face with a whipped cream pie, Nationals president Stan Kasten “reiterated his contempt for baseball’s current system for signing draft choices.”
Right now the majority of top picks wait until the last moment to sign, costing themselves development time and creating a logjam of mostly inevitable announcements like we saw before yesterday’s midnight deadline.
Kasten told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post that he expects the system to change as part of the next collective bargaining agreement, calling it “silly to think the industry operates this way.”
Here’s more from Kasten:

There’s no reason for it. And the worst part? The worst part is we’ve now institutionalized taking young talent at their prime development age, and now we say, “Go sit on the shelf for this season.” That’s the worst thing of all. It doesn’t help the talent. It doesn’t help the teams. If nothing else, that law needs to be fixed.

Exactly. Players are drafted in June and then most end up signing within a few hours of each other before a midnight deadline in mid-August, giving them several months to essentially do nothing and leaving them little room to make a pro debut in the current season.

Clayton Kershaw completes spring training with a 0.00 ERA

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Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.

In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.

The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.

The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.