The Sports Junkies react to Strasburg contract

The Fan News Desk
December 10, 2019 - 9:44 am
The Sports Junkies react to Strasburg signing

Patrick Smith / Staff / Getty Images

The Nationals made Stephen Strasburg the highest-paid pitcher in Major League Baseball history Monday, causing a tidal wave of reaction around the baseball world.

The Sports Junkies weighed in on Strasburg’s seven-year, $245 million deal first thing Tuesday morning.

Jason Bishop likened the deal to the one David Price signed with the Red Sox in Dec. 2015, a seven-year, $217 million contract, a record deal Strasburg’s has now broken.

“Even though David Price helped the Red Sox win the World Series,” Bishop said, “it’s looked at as a bad deal because he’s had so many injuries and he’s just not the pitcher that he once was.”

Though Strasburg’s deal set a new record, John Auville anticipates the contract free agent pitcher Gerrit Cole receives could be larger. Cole has been rumored to be a possible addition for the Yankees. 

“Strasburg doesn’t strike me as a guy who’s gonna be upset that Cole’s deal eclipses his,” Auville said. “He’s happy. He’s clearly happy here. He’s getting paid an obscene amount of money. It’s $35 million per year, and he’s in the situation that he obviously likes and he’s comfortable with.” 

Before the Nationals re-signed Strasburg, the Dodgers were reportedly among the teams to express interest in him. Because he’s a San Diego native, it isn’t surprising Strasburg fielded offers from other teams, Bishop said. 

“You know he went out and danced with the west coast teams,”  Bishop said. “The Yankees were interested. The Yankees had to get either Strasburg or (Gerrit) Cole. Maybe they get Cole today. But (agent Scott) Boras and Strasburg went out there and fielded other offers just to kind of get an idea.” 

Because the team was able to keep the World Series MVP, Nationals fans are wondering whether the franchise will be able to re-sign Anthony Rendon. Last week, Owner Mark Lerner told NBC Sports Washington the team would only be able to afford one of Strasburg or Rendon, rather than both. 

Bishop said the franchise can afford to sign Rendon, considered the best available position player in free agency, but might choose not to in order to maintain some long-term payroll flexibility. 

“Are you gonna try and go give (Rendon) a considerable offer?” Bishop said. “Lerner already said he can’t afford both, which is a lie, you can. Does Anthony Rendon walk?” 

Auville, citing Max Scherzer and Patrick Corbin’s large contracts, said it’s something the organization has to consider in the context of future salaries. 

“They can afford it,” Auville said. “It’s just a matter of whether they want another $30 plus million salary.”

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