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Stephen Strasburg: Will He Pitch In 2009?

I have been debating DB11, from the UBA league, on faketeams for about a month or so. He is of the belief that uber-prospect Stephen Strasburg will pitch in 2009 once the National draft and sign him by the August 15th deadline.

On the other hand, I am of the belief that the Nationals will sign him by the deadline, but will not allow him to pitch in the majors in 2009 and may have him start the 2010 season in the minors for a few starts. Should the Nationals have Strasburg start the 2010 season in the minors, he will be the No. 1 pick in the 2009 UBA minor league draft.

In the UBA league, the team that ends up in 6th place gets the right to draft Strasburg, should he not pitch in the majors in 2009. The rule is set up to benefit the team that just misses being in the money, as the top 5 teams, in the 12 team NL-only league, win money. The rule is in place so teams don't sell-off all of their talent in the hopes of drafting the top prospect.

So, in Buster Olney's blog from Saturday, he provides an update on the Strasburg sweepstakes:

Heard this again this week: The Nationals fully intend to draft and sign Strasburg. Theoretically, he could pitch in the big leagues this year, and no team needs a marquee draw more than the Nationals right now. But some rival talent evaluators wonder whether Washington will essentially shut him down for the rest of the year if it takes some time to sign him -- and even if the Nationals were to somehow get him signed quickly, those rival evaluators think it would be prudent to permit him only a handful of appearances.

"By the time the draft rolls around, he might already have 125-130 innings for the year," one evaluator said. "If the negotiations go on until Aug. 15, then they'd have to build him up again to make, what, two or three starts? If he were to somehow sign immediately, they wouldn't continue pitching him the rest of the year, because then his innings count would climb over 200, easily."

I put in bold two statements, one which supports DB11's argument, and one that supports my argument. DB11 argues that the Nationals HAVE to pitch him this year to sell tickets this year and in 2010.

I argue, that he will not sign till the 11th hour on August 15th, and there is no reason to pitch him this year since the team will probably lose 100 games anyway. Plus, why risk an injury in a season where he has already thrown alot of innings, and will make his last start sometime in June probably. So he will be sitting for two months once he signs. I also think the Nationals will start Strasburg in the minors to prevent his major league service time from accruing. See Matt Weiters.

What do faketeamers think?