Stephen Strasburg – Player Opt-Out
Now that we’ve looked at the three clear-cut free agents, we take a look at the players who have various options that could make them a free agent. First up is Washington Nationals rotation stalwart, Stephen Strasburg.
After the 2019 season, Strasburg has the first of two opt-out clauses in the contract he signed during the 2016 season. This means that the ball in his court ahead of what could be a decisive season for the right-hander.
After a promising 2017 in which he finished third in the NL Cy Young voting, Strasburg couldn’t replicate that form last term. He finished the year with a 10-7 record and 3.74 ERA as he continually battled injuries in 2018.
While Strasburg did have diminished velocity late last season, that’s expected to return and he has a good chance to be among the game’s best pitchers again. If he does rebound, then he will have an interesting decision to make with that player opt-out that looms at the end of the year.
He would be set to earn $25 million in 2020 if he was to decline his option, which is still pretty close to market value for a pitcher of his caliber. In another era with player-friendly free agency, he may have opted out, but unless he turns in a Cy Young season, he’s likely to remain with the Nationals beyond 2019.
Prediction: Stephen Strasburg declines his opt-out and remains in 2020