According to a source, ESPN is currently reporting that the Nationals are unlikely to sign The Stephen Strasburg before August 17th, the deadline to sign draft picks. I'm not sure how you can be "on pace", but this is what's being reported.
The article from their site is here:
It has been well reported that he may play in an independent league or Japan, but my opinion is that that is an extremely risky proposal. He is going to get his money this year, and if he pitches well next year, he helps himself probably minimally, and the downside has to be huge. What if he gets hurt, or if he gets absolutely pounded? Keep in mind that Boras is notorious for waiting until the last minute to complete deals (as if we didn't know that from Pedro Alverez) so it's a very slow pace at this point, but still interesting. With all this being said, if he doesn't sign this year, the dynamic of next year's draft obviously changes completely. If he is in the draft next year, and the Nationals have the first overall pick, do they take him again or do they take Harper? Does this mean the Pirates only have to be the second best (or worst, depending on your perspective) team to get a stud?