The Washington Nationals and right-handed pitcher Stephen Strasburg have agreed to a seven-year, $175 million contract extension. The deal also includes an opt-out after the third or fourth year of the contract and additional incentives.
The news is a shock to the baseball world, as Strasburg—a Scott Boars client—was widely expected to hit free agency following the season. Despite having made his debut in 2010, Strasburg is still 27 years old. And despite missing a year because of Tommy John surgery, he's had a very good major league career. In 818.2 innings before his start against the Tigers, which is currently happening, Strasburg had a 3.06 ERA and 2.78 FIP with 10.42 strikeouts and 2.21 walks per nine.
With the extension, the Nationals have two top-tier pitchers locked up for the long haul, as Max Scherzer still has five years left on his contract following this season. There's a chance—perhaps even a likelihood—that the latter years of both contracts don't look so great. But for at least the next couple of years, the Strasburg extension clearly make the Nationals better than they would have been if he left in free agency after the season.