World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg is staying with the Washington Nationals, agreeing to a record $245m, seven-year contract, according to sources.
Strasburg’s deal is the highest for a pitcher in total dollars and average annual value at $35m. The largest contract for a pitcher had been David Price’s $217m, seven-year deal with Boston that began in 2016. The highest average value had been Zack Greinke’s $34.4m as part of a $206.5m, six-year agreement with Arizona prior to the 2016 season.
The 31-year-old Strasburg was drafted first overall by Washington in 2009 and has spent his entire career with the Nationals. He’ll stay in a rotation that also features All-Stars Max Scherzer and Patrick Corbin. After helping win the first World Series title in the 51-season history of the Montreal/Washington franchise, Strasburg gave up $100m he had been guaranteed from 2020-23 as part of a $175m, seven-year contract he agreed to in May 2016 and became a free agent.
He was 18-6 with a 3.32 ERA last season, topping 30 starts for the second time in his career and leading the NL with 209 innings. 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.
In a career interrupted by Tommy John surgery shortly after his spectacular major league debut in 2010, Strasburg is 112-58 with a 3.17 ERA and 1,695 strikeouts in parts of 10 seasons. He’s made 10 trips to the disabled list over seven of those years.
Strasburg’s average annual value is second among all players behind outfielder Mike Trout’s $35.5m in a $426.5m, 12-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels that started last season. Strasburg’s deal also sets a floor for free agent pitcher Gerrit Cole, who also is represented by agent Scott Boras and is expected to top the records Strasburg just set.
Washington have invested heavily in starting pitching. Scherzer, also a Boras client, agreed to a $210m, seven-year contract before the 2015 season. Corbin reached a $140m, six-year deal last offseason. All-Star third baseman Anthony Rendon, another key component of the Nationals’ title, also is a free agent represented by Boras.