The MLB Winter meetings have worked their magic again. Stephen Strasburg, who opted out of his contract after an emphatic 2019 season, has re-signed with the Washington Nationals. The Nationals have tied down Strasburg for seven years, in a record deal worth $245 million, $70 million more than his previous deal with the team.
Stephen Strasburg’s deal, at least temporarily, breaks two records. David Price formerly held the record for total dollars dedicated to a pitcher after Boston Red Sox paid $217 million to acquire his services. Strasburg’s average annual value of $35 million also overtakes Zack Greinke’s $34.4 million. However, with Gerrit Cole still on the open market, both records could be short-lived.
Mike Rizzo, the General Manager of the Washington Nationals, expressed his delight on re-signing Stephen Strasburg. Rizzo was quoted saying on the official MLB website that Nationals couldn’t be more happier to announce the signing of Strasburg. Rizzo added that Strasburg is a player close to his heart because of the history he shares with the club. In Mike Rizzo’s words, ‘Drafted, signed, developed and turned into a superstar right before our eyes with 'Washington' on the front of his chest.’
Stephen Strasburg new contract with Washington Nationals also includes a full no-trade clause. Strasburg will reach the 10-5 threshold in 2020, 10 years of service in big leagues including five with the same club, which gives Strasburg no-trade rights. His identification of the no-trade status means that Strasburg will maintain those rights even if he agrees to trade during the span of his new deal.
The deal ensures a long and fruitful association between Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals. The Nationals selected Strasburg first overall in the 2009 MLB Draft out of San Diego State, and one of the most exciting pitching prospects in history, made his spectacular 14-strikeout debut a year later in 2010. There were ups and downs after that, including a controversial shutdown before the 2012 postseason, but he and the Nationals both redeemed themselves with a World Series win in October.