How Nats fans influenced Strasburg's decision to re-sign

The Fan News Desk
December 17, 2019 - 3:01 pm

Support from D.C. sports fans and the clubhouse culture the Washington Nationals have created strongly influenced Stephen Strasburg’s decision to re-sign with the team this offseason, he told 106.7 The Fan’s Grant & Danny on Tuesday.

After the Nationals formally announced Strasburg’s seven-year, $245 million deal during a press conference at Nationals Park, Strasburg said on The Fan the family-like atmosphere in the clubhouse motivated him to remain with the team. 

“One of the things we preached in the clubhouse was family, and I think in a bigger perspective, this city has really pulled behind us as a group of guys and as a fanbase, and I think that’s something you want to be a part of,” Strasburg told Grant & Danny

Strasburg and the team reached a deal Dec. 9, but he said the Nationals made their desire to keep him known on the first day of the offseason. The 31-year-old was dominant in the postseason, posting a 5-0 record and 1.98 ERA in 36.1 innings. He allowed a combined four runs in two World Series starts and was recognized as the World Series MVP. 

“I was really focused on just spending time with family and really just trying to catch up with everybody that I missed back in (California),” Strasburg said. “But the Nationals were committed to wanting me back from really the first day of the offseason. It wasn’t really a difficult situation.” 

When asked if he was more likely to re-sign with the Nationals because of the World Series run, Strasburg said the championship combined with the team’s emphasis on clubhouse culture made returning to D.C. desirable.

“The coaches, the coaching staff, the players that we have, their commitment to winning (was a factor),” Strasburg said. “There was a lot of emphasis put on clubhouse culture the last few years. Some of these young players that we have coming up and who’ve already arrived, they’re special people and obviously extremely talented.

"It was something I wanted to continue to be a part of because last year was one of the most fun seasons I’ve ever had,” Strasburg said. 

The city’s support during the team’s postseason run also influenced Strasburg, who said he couldn’t anticipate what a championship would mean to the city before he experienced it.

“The city has grown on me,” Strasburg said. “Coming from California, you can’t really comprehend what winning a championship to a city like D.C. is until you kind of live it.”

Despite the run to Series MVP, Strasburg said he isn't his dad's favorite player. That honor belongs to Howie Kendrick.

Luckily for Nats fans and Strasburg's dad, they are both returning to D.C. for 2020. 

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