Washington Nationals Reactions: Stephen Strasburg And Nats Not Talking Contract Extension


It appears to be the last year for Strasburg in DC as the Nats and Strasburg have not discussed a contract extension

Usually, when a team is dealing with a Scott Boras client, it is unlikely that the player Boras is representing is going to sign an extension without testing free agency. That appears to be the case with Washington Nationals’ pitcher Stephen Strasburg. Yesterday, it was reported by Jon Morosi of FOX Sports and MLB Network that the Nats and Strasburg have not discussed a contract extension and he is likely going to be a free agent at the end of this season. Here’s more from Boras:

"“We amicably agreed to a one-year deal (for 2016),” Boras said. “He’s going to pitch, and we’ll see where it goes from there. It’s something we’ll be discussing at the end of the year.” (h/t Morosi, FOX Sports)"

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This is no surprise that Strasburg will become a free agent because he is going to be the top pitcher on the free agent market next winter and the price of pitching has skyrocketed as evident by the three $200 million+ contracts given to pitchers the last two years (Max Scherzer, David Price, Zack Greinke).

If Strasburg does leave, another homegrown player will leave DC just like Jordan Zimmermann did this winter when he signed with Detroit and Ian Desmond, although he is still a free agent as pitchers and catchers are reporting to spring training across the league.

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Another aspect of this story by Morosi was how Boras talked about the Nationals’ handling of the Strasburg shutdown at the end of the 2012 season, an issue that’s still debated by Nats fans today:

"“The Nationals have done a great job with him,” Boras said. “They’ve listened to the doctors, and all you can ask of a team is that they listen to the doctors. They have. Stephen and the team have benefited from that.” (h/t Morosi)"

In any other case, you would think the Nats’ handling of Strasburg would lead to that player signing an extension because he can trust how the team handles him injury-wise. However, that is not the case for Boras and the organization knows that, based on the amount of Boras clients that they have.

Next: Nats Non-Roster Player Profile: Jason Martinson

Right now, Strasburg has to remain focused on the 2016 season and trying to pitch like he did in the second half of last season when he went 6-2 with a 1.90 ERA in his final 10 starts. With Zimmermann and Doug Fister gone, it’s up to Strasburg to carry the load at the top of the rotation along with Scherzer. If he can have a great season and help the Nationals make it to the postseason, then it will lead to more money for his next big contract.