Stephen Strasburg and Nationals Agree to Deal


Righty Stephen Strasburg will stay with the Nationals.

Strasburg's deal surpasses the record $217-million, seven-year deal David Price signed with the Boston Red Sox after the 2015 season and sets the stage for Cole to end up with an even bigger payday.

Strasburg's deal is the highest for a pitcher in total dollars and average annual value at $35 million. The highest average value had been Zack Greinke's $34.4 million as part of a $206.5 million, six-year agreement with Arizona prior to the 2016 season.

Strasburg, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 draft who struck out 14 batters in his major league debut the following summer, is now signed through age 38. It was his first season since 2014 that he made over 30 starts.

Strasburg - who opted out of 4 years and $100M with Washington - re-ups with the defending World Champs on a record-setting deal for a pitcher. In a 10-year career, Strasburg has a 3.17 ERA and a 130 ERA+ and a 10.6 strikeouts-per-nine rate.

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The massive contract given to Strasburg would appear to eliminate the Nationals from the Rendon sweepstakes. He went 5-0 with a 1.98 ERA in five postseason starts and one relief appearance, including wins in Games 2 and 6 of the World Series against Houston.

There really aren't any other free agent starting pitchers that make sense for the Padres and the top of the rotation pitcher they are looking for.

That's what he did Monday during the first day of the winter meetings, landing a seven-year deal worth $245 million.

Strasburg's return to the World Series champions leaves Gerrit Cole as the sole remaining ace in play, which should only intensify the bidding between the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers for the right-hander's services.