According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, free agent righty Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals have agreed to a big contract.
Stephen Strasburg’s deal with the Washington Nationals is for seven years and $245 million, a source tells ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 9, 2019
7 years and $245M? Yeah, that’s big. The deal that also includes a full no-trade clause has also been confirmed by other sources including Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
Strasburg re-ups with the defending World Champs on a record-setting deal for a pitcher. The contract shatters Zack Greinke’s 6 year, $206.5M deal inked with Arizona in December 2015 for a right-hander, and David Price’s 7 year, $217M deal with Boston over.
With Stras off the market, focus turns to free agent ace Gerrit Cole. Cole, 29, is two years younger than Strasburg and is widely considered the prize player of the off-season. Reports have Cole with a similar contract offer in hand from the New York Yankees, but speculation now has the righty pushing at or near $300M over 7 or 8 seasons.
After huge money went to former Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler (5 year, $118M), the signal was sent that this off-season would be a lucrative one for high level free agent players. With players like Cole Hamels and Kyle Gibson off the market as well, the best pitchers left beyond Cole are Hyun-Jin Ryu and Madison Bumgarner.
Yesterday Jon Heyman reported that the Dodgers are still interested in the free agent Ryu. After this Strasburg deal and open market projections for Gerrit Cole, LA may have little choice but to re-up with the Korean-born lefty. Of course, picking up a Cy Young runner up is hardly a big miss.