CINCINNATI -- Trying to get a deal done with pitcher Stephen Strasburg before the midnight ET deadline on Monday, the Nationals met with their No. 1 pick during the middle of last week in Southern California, according to two club sources. The news was first reported by The Washington Times.
According to one source, managing principal owner Ted Lerner, team president Stan Kasten and acting general manager Mike Rizzo all went to see Strasburg, and all three came away impressed with the right-hander.
Strasburg is being advised by Scott Boras, and many believe it will go down to the wire to get the No. 1 selection of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft signed.
The Nationals feel strongly that Strasburg can make an immediate impact in their rotation, maybe joining the team's Major League roster sometime in September.
If he is promoted to the big leagues this season, Strasburg will become only the third pitcher in baseball history to be drafted No. 1 and play in the Majors in the same year, joining Rangers left-hander David Clyde in 1973 and Orioles right-hander Ben McDonald in '89.
Strasburg, 20, went 13-1 with a 1.32 ERA in 15 starts this season at San Diego State University en route to being named the Golden Spikes Award winner. He struck out 195 batters and issued just 19 walks in 109 innings.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.