The largest contract for a pitcher had been David Price's $217 million, seven-year deal with Boston that began in 2016. That's a record for a starting pitcher, and potentially very good news for the Rangers. He's now the recipient of a contract that surpasses the seven-year, $210 million deal rotation mate Max Scherzer signed in 2015, and Strasburg is set up to pitch for the Nationals for his entire career.
It feels like the Nationals outbid themselves with Strasburg in order to bring back their former first overall draft pick and World Series hero ... and I really can't blame them for that.
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According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, and confirmed by several others, free agent righty Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals have agreed to a big contract. It was his first season since 2014 that he made over 30 starts. In a 10-year career, Strasburg has a 3.17 ERA and a 130 ERA+ and a 10.6 strikeouts-per-nine rate. 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.
When the offseason started I had thought/hoped the San Diego Padres could bring the Southern California native home on a six-year deal for around $180 million, which is what he was predicted to get by MLB Trade Rumors.
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The Nationals were hopeful - perhaps even confident - all along they'd be able to retain Strasburg, who in addition to signing his previous long-term deal had moved his family to the D.C. area full-time last winter and has always expressed a preference for staying in town. Strasburg officially became a free agent after the three-time All-Star rejected the one-year, $17.8-million qualifying offer the Nats tendered him.
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