Washington Nationals: Stephen Strasburg Signs Seven Year Extension
By Ricky Keeler
In surprising news, the Washington Nationals have signed Stephen Strasburg to a seven-year contract extension
Heading into the season, it was thought that the Washington Nationals would only have one more season with Stephen Strasburg since he was going to be a free agent at the end of the year. But, in a shocking turn of events, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post first tweeted that Strasburg is staying in DC and has signed a long-term extension:
While the Washington Nationals have not made it official, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported that it is a seven-year extension worth $175 million. Heyman said that the deal will also include some form of opt-out and deferrals. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and MLB Network also reported that the opt-out will come after year three or four:
This extension is absolutely a surprise because if Strasburg were to enter free agency this winter, he would’ve been in high demand as one of the best, if not the best free agent on the market. Now, the Nats can pair Strasburg with Max Scherzer at the top of the rotation for the next few years.
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Plus, you don’t usually see Scott Boras clients sign extensions before they reach free agency, so that made this signing even more surprising. With David Price and Zack Greinke signing $200+ million deals this winter, the Nats get Strasburg for less than what those two aces are making.
Strasburg, who was selected by the Nats with the top pick in the 2009 MLB Draft, entered tonight’s start against the Detroit Tigers with a 59-37 record and a 3.06 ERA over his seven plus years with the Washington Nationals.
With this extension, Strasburg makes even more history. He passes his former teammate, Jordan Zimmermann, for the largest contract ever signed by a pitcher who previously had Tommy John surgery:
Zimmermann signed a five-year, $110 million deal with the Tigers this offseason and he will pitch against the Nats and Max Scherzer on Wednesday.
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After watching two home-grown players in Zimmermann and Ian Desmond leave via free agency this winter, it is good to see the Nats keep one of their own players and one of the players who helped get this franchise on the winning track. Plus, it does help the confidence that the organization could get a deal done for the reigning NL MVP, Bryce Harper, down the road (another Boras client).
All in all, this is a great night for the Washington Nationals and for Strasburg, even though he has given up a pair of home runs tonight against the Detroit Tigers over seven innings. However, he does have 11 strikeouts. Strasburg, who will be 28 in July, has been dominant since the second half of last season and he will be playing in the Nation’s Capital for the foreseeable future.