Earlier today, the Washington Nationals were able to avoid the arbitration process with three of their key pitchers before the 1:00 PM ET deadline. First, it was Stephen Strasburg who agreed to a one-year deal worth $7.4 million for the 2015 season, according to Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post:
The Fister deal was worth $11.4 million, which makes him the second highest-paid pitcher on the staff, behind Jordan Zimmermann, who will be making $16.5 million this season. As far as Strasburg goes, he gets a rise for the upcoming season from his near $4 million he made last year ($3.975 million to be exact). Storen will also get a raise from $3.45 million to $5.7 million.
When you look at the projections that MLB Trade Rumors made during their offseason outlook, Strasburg made slightly less than the $8.1 million that was estimated, but Storen and Fister received similar deals.
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Last season, Strasburg was top five in the National League in innings pitched and led the league in strikeouts with 242. The first overall pick from the 2009 draft is eligible for free agency after the 2016 season. As for Fister, he is coming off a great season in the National League as he went 16-6 with a 2.41 ERA (fourth in the National League). His contract, just like Zimmermann’s, is up at the end of this upcoming season.
With the news of Tyler Clippard being traded to Oakland, there is now more pressure on Drew Storen as the lone option in the ninth inning. The 27-year-old had 11 saves in 14 opportunities last season, but had a 1.03 ERA in the second half of the season.
The only Nationals’ player that will be headed to arbitration this offseason is reliever Jerry Blevins. The 31-year-old lefty appeared in 64 games last season, going 2-3 with a 4.87 ERA. That being said, he only gave up three home runs last seasons and lefties hit .160 against him. MLBTR projects that Blevins will make $2.2 million in arbitration, which would be more than the $1.675 million he made last year. Now, the team and Blevins will exchange salary figures as they will make their cases in front of an arbitrator.