The Deadline Arrives to Sign Crow

By Chico Harlan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, August 15, 2008

One day before the Washington Nationals selected Aaron Crow ninth overall in the June draft, one of Crow's advisers, Alan Hendricks, spoke with General Manager Jim Bowden. In that conversation, Hendricks explained to Bowden what it would take to sign Crow. The right-handed pitcher, just finishing his junior year at the University of Missouri, wanted a major league contract and "premium dollars" -- a signing bonus well exceeding the $2,150,000 recommended by Major League Baseball for a ninth pick.

Now, just hours to go before tonight's midnight deadline for signing draft picks, the Nationals still haven't made Crow a part of their future. If the deadline passes without a deal, the Nationals lose their rights to the pitcher and will receive a compensatory first-round pick next year.

"We made our position clear," said Crow's other adviser, Randy Hendricks, of Hendricks Sports Management, who provided his account of the conversation with Bowden. "If they weren't willing to do that, they shouldn't have drafted him. . . . I'm disappointed they took him. They continue to tell us they'll draft 9B next year."

According to Randy Hendricks, Washington has shown no inclination to meet either of Crow's demands. Crow wants a major league contract in large part because it means he can earn far more than the typical minor league salary while he works his way toward the big leagues.

The two sides haven't spoken since Tuesday. Bowden did not return an e-mail yesterday seeking comment.

Young's Return Appears Unlikely

Dmitri Young's return this season is looking increasingly unlikely. The Nationals first baseman, on the disabled list since July 19, is still in Washington trying to control his diabetes, Manager Manny Acta said. Even if Young makes a quick turnaround, it won't come before the end of the minor league season, making a rehab assignment impossible.

"That doesn't mean that a guy won't be able to come back and we'll do some simulated games over here and all that," Acta said. "But it depends on when he's done controlling his diabetes."

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