The Strasburg deal leaves massive repercussions in its wake, starting with the likely departure of All-Star third baseman Anthony Rendon, a $300 million contract-in-waiting for pitcher Gerrit Cole, and an enhanced marketplace for the rest of the free-agent pitching class.
- Strasburg already had four years and $100 million remaining on his original contract when he opted out. He had a spectacular season -- going 18-6 with a 3.32 ERA and league-leading 209 innings. He topped that by winning the World Series MVP. Still, no one was quite sure how much more he could command on the open market.
He turned it into an extra $145 million over three years, a cool $48.3 million a year.
Why, even at $245 million over seven years, Strasburg sets the record of $35 million a year for a pitcher, eclipsing Zack Greinke’s $34.3 million annual average salary with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
And just like that, it’s now quite possible that Cole, the No. 1 pitcher on the free-agent market, becomes the first $300 million pitcher in history.
- The Yankees certainly will be offering more than $245 million now. Cole should be wearing pinstripes by the end of the week.
It certainly is a financial bonanza, too, for free-agent starter Madison Bumgarner, whose request for a $100 million deal no longer seems unreasonable.
- The Nationals, who drafted Strasburg with the first pick in 2009, will have paid him about $370 million by the end of his contract, which includes a full no-trade clause and no opt-outs, and perhaps an all-expenses trip to Cooperstown.
USA Today Sports, Opinion: Fallout from Stephen Strasburg's record-setting deal will affect Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, Bob Nightengale, December 10, 2019.