Someone must have forgotten to show Stephen Strasburg a calendar, because for the first time in longer than I can remember, we have a free agent signing in December.
Washington made a pretty big splash earlier today by announcing they have resigned the World Series MVP to a new seven-year deal guaranteeing Stras a whopping 245 Million. The deal is rumored to have no opt-out, a full no trade, no options, and only about 80 Mil of it is deferred.
The deal is a new record for average-annual value which may not last long with Gerrit Cole still on the market.
To be sure, Strasburg not only ensconced himself in Nats lore but reaffirmed his top-shelf status in 2019. He topped two hundred innings for the second time in his career and worked to a 3.32 ERA that may actually have belied the true quality of his effort. With 10.8 K/9, 2.4 BB/9, and a 51.1% groundball rate, he showed all the skills that help a pitcher generate outs. Strasburg graded at a 3.25 FIP, 3.17 xFIP, and 3.49 SIERA in 2019. His 13.4% swinging-strike rate was a career high, though he’s now averaging about two ticks less on his fastball than he did for much of his career. And he showed yet more in a blistering run through the postseason, when he allowed just eight earned runs with a ridiculous 47:4 K/BB ratio over 36 1/3 innings, topping it all off with a World Series MVP.
The deal also likely spells the end of the road for Anthony Rendon in Washington, with ownership already commenting they don’t expect to be able to sign both players.
Strasburg will be 38 when the contract ends.