Scott Boras says Stephen Strasburg wants to stay with Nationals


Oct 3, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher

Stephen Strasburg

(37) pitches against the San Francisco Giants in the first inning of game one of the 2014 NLDS playoff baseball game at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit:

Brad Mills


When the Washington Nationals signed right-hander Max Scherzer to a seven-year, $210 million contract Wednesday, the team knew they were bringing in one of the best starters in the game and that it would make the greatest rotation in baseball even better.

But, while the Scherzer signing would give the Nationals a starting rotation for the ages, it also creates a surplus of starting pitchers. The Nationals have five starters who dominated last year – Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Doug Fister, Gio Gonzalez and Tanner Roark – and they are all under contract for next season. With Scherzer on board, however, the team will be forced to send Roark to the bullpen or trade one of its star pitchers.

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When rumors of a potential deal with Scherzer began swirling around Sunday afternoon, most assumed that the Nationals would either keep the rotation how it is and send Roark to the ‘pen, or trade Zimmermann or Fister – both of whom are headed for the final year of their contract. But, earlier this week, a report from freelance reporter John Perrotto claimed that “Strasburg is very much available” and that “both sides believe it is time to move on,” leading many to believe that the Nationals were intent on trading Strasburg and not Zimmermann or Fister.

The original report seemed odd to many Nationals fans and writers alike, given that it wouldn’t make much sense that “both sides believe it is time to move on” since Strasburg has excelled as a National and still has two years remaining on his contract. Apparently, Strasburg’s agent Scott Boras was not too pleased with the report himself and flat-out denied it.

"“We don’t know where that came from,” Boras told the Washington Times Wednesday. “Stephen Strasburg wants to play here and wants to be with Max Scherzer and grow. I don’t know who the writer was, but the writer certainly never called us and he never called Stephen.”"

Boras, who also represents Scherzer, went on to say that not only is Strasburg interested in staying in Washington, but also that the Nationals “have every intention of keeping this pitching staff intact,” which would ensure that the team has a stellar rotation of Scherzer, Strasburg, Zimmermann, Fister and Gonzalez as they play for a World Series title in 2015.

Of course, it’s impossible to know what general manager Mike Rizzo is thinking. For all we know, Strasburg could be traded later today. But any trade involving the former No. 1 overall draft pick would be surprising and a serious blow to the incredible rotation that the Nationals have built by bringing Scherzer into the fold.

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Strasburg is coming off a great 2014 campaign in which he went 14-11 with a 3.14 ERA and 242 strikeouts over 215 innings of work. The Nationals still control Starsburg for at least the next two years, and given his raw talent and untapped potential, there’s no reason to believe that the 26-year-old right-hander can’t be even better in 2015 and beyond.

The Nationals would be wise to keep all of their starting pitchers and go for it all in 2015. And based on what Boras said, it looks like that’s exactly what Rizzo and his team want to do.