We move on to number two on the list of possible players that could be seeing an extension come their way in the very near future. Yesterday, I broke down Jordan Zimmermann and if he deserves an extension or not, you can read it here.
Today is Stephen Strasburg‘s turn.
Strasburg is in his first year of arbitration and won’t become a free agent until 2017. That is the good news for the Nationals at this point. The bad news is the injury history surrounding Strasburg. He has missed a lot of time due to the innings limits, and surgeries that he has had done. He did have a great 2013 season, that went unnoticed due to his record, but the issue is still there.
Strasburg has been labeled the “ace” of the Washington National’s pitching staff since he first stepped foot on a Major League rubber, which is a little unfair in my opinion. It is unfair to him and every other pitcher in the organization. Just because he was the number one overall pick, doesn’t justify giving him that spot. He should have to earn it.
Until he does, no he does not deserve an extension. Until he can prove that he can start 30 games a season with consistency, no he doesn’t deserve an extension. That can all change in time, but he doesn’t have much of it.
As I stated in my Zimmermann post, injury percentages go up with age, and Strasburg will be 29 going on 30 when his current contract is up. If the Nationals are going to give him an extension it needs to be after the 2015, if it is consistent and injury free for the most part.
There is no need to worry about him walking at this point, as he has four more years in a Nats uniform, but it is something to keep in mind down the road. Is it really worth the money to end up giving a $140 million contract to a player that only touches the field 30 or so times in a season? I don’t think so. That is also only one opinion also.
Strasburg has the ability to become a great starting pitcher and the leader of the pitching staff in D.C, but he has yet to do that. There is a lot of money on the line when talking extensions and a lot of years down the road, that you have no control over. A four year deal after the 2015 season would be a great deal to make if you can make it. You get him in his prime and you evaluate after that contract has expired. That is how you become successful, not by giving out eight year deals to pitchers, whose career could be halted with one pitch.