LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- There's really nothing quite like big media scrum around Scott Boras. Reporters fire off questions about more than a dozen players who are represented by Boras, who doesn't even have to pause and think before he responds with a detailed (and usually glowing) analysis of the market for said player.
And since the Nationals have so many ties to Boras now -- Jayson Werth, Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper, Ivan Rodriguez, Jesus Flores, Danny Espinosa and Alberto Gonzalez -- are all represented by him, as a reporter you have no choice but to wedge yourself into the scrum when Boras speaks at the Winter Meetings and glean whatever nuggets you can get out of him.
So, here's what the super agent had to say about some Nats-related matters just a few minutes ago...
On Stephen Strasburg: "His spirits are high. Coming through the surgery and understanding that he's A-OK and listening to the doctors comment, I think it's turned out where he's on the path of a very solid understanding of his future and where he can go."
On Strasburg's mechanics and whether he'll need to change them post-surgery: "I think we're going to leave the mechanics to the Washington Nationals. There's a lot of things that are said. But we've been through the Tommy John situation with a whole host of pitchers in my career. To suggest that a young thrower with all of that ability, to determine when that occurred or why it occurred, I think it's a difficult [conclusion to make that Strasburg's mechanics caused the injury]. Certainly the medical staff has, with the certainty that so many prognosticators have put out there, they're not quite so certain that's the case."
On the Nats' pursuit of Carlos Pena (who signed with the Cubs today): "We've had ongoing discussions with the Nationals. And certainly the Nationals are interested in first base specifically."
On Bryce Harper's performance in the Arizona Fall League: "Wow. I mean, Bryce's performances are always stunning, because you've got a guy that should be in high school hitting .350 with some power in the Arizona Fall League, where you've got a bunch of veteran, minor-league players and professional athletes at that level. For Bryce, it just continues. He's playing in junior college when he should be playing in junior high school. And he's playing in the Arizona Fall League when he should be a senior in high school. He's an extraordinary talent."
On Harper getting ABs in big-league camp this spring: "If that's the case, I don't think anything surprises Bryce. He just gets in there and plays."
And, as an added bonus, here's what Carlos Pena had to say about offers he received from other teams (including the Nationals) before he elected to sign with Chicago for one year and $10 million...
"I had some opportunities to go multi-year, some multi-year opportunities. However, I just thought that to play for the Cubs was my preference. When I looked around at the teams that were interested, which to me, it flatters me to see how much interest there was. I still thought that the Cubs was my best option. I love the city. My family loves the city. I think we have a pretty good chance at winning. I have all of the confident in the world in the team that we have, and I believe that's even going to get better. We have a park, the history, what can I say? It's truly one of those teams that when you're a kid, you kind of dream about playing for. When I was 10 years old, I used to watch George Bell, Ryne Sandberg, [Shawon] Dunston, Andre Dawson. It was a regular thing at home, and I'm very happy to be part of this ballclub."