What it could mean for the Nats
If Stephen Strasburg decides not to opt-out, then it means the Washington Nationals will return one of the best starting rotations in all of baseball next year.
But if he does opt-out and signs elsewhere, the Washington Nationals will still return one of the best starting rotations in all of baseball in 2020.
Even if the Nationals didn’t go out and get anyone to replace Strasburg, which I doubt would happen, they could still start 2020 with a rotation consisting of Max Scherzer, Patrick Corbin, and Anibal Sanchez.
That top three is still better than a lot of rotations around the league.
But make no mistake, losing Strasburg would be a huge blow to the Nationals, especially when it comes to getting back into the postseason and winning.
Scherzer has had his injury struggles in 2019 and is only getting older, and Corbin is not someone who can lead a rotation.
Also, the Nationals aren’t going to find a starter on the open market — other than Cole or Strasburg himself — that can replace him.
Of course, there is also a real possibility that Strasburg opts-out and signs a bigger contract with the Nationals.
I certainly think the Washington Nationals can win the NL East next year without Strasburg, but I worry how successful they can be in the postseason with him if he elects to become a free agent and sign somewhere else.
We’ll find out very quickly after the World Series is over what Strasburg wants to do, but either way, let’s not forget what all he’s done for this franchise.