Nationals sign World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg to record-breaking contract

Posted at 10:25 AM, Dec 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-10 10:25:23-05

Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC (Nationals Communications) – The Washington Nationals agreed to terms on a seven-year contract with right-handed pitcher Stephen Strasburg on Monday. According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the deal is worth $245 million. Ken Rosenthal reports the $35 million/year salary is the highest average annual value for a pitcher in Major League Baseball history.

Strasburg, 31, went 18–6 with a 3.32 ERA and struck out a career-high 251 batters in 33 starts in 2019. He led the National League in wins (18) and innings pitched (209.0) and ranked among National League pitchers in strikeouts (2nd, 251), opponents’ OPS (4th, .620), opponents’ batting average (5th, .210), strikeouts per 9.0 innings (5th, 10.81), walks and hits per innings pitched (5th, 1.04), opponents’ slugging percentage (6th, .349) and opponents’ on-base percentage (7th, .271).

“We are very excited to welcome Stephen Strasburg and his family back to the Washington Nationals,” said Washington Nationals Managing Principal Owner Mark D. Lerner. “His tremendous talent, work ethic and leadership have been a staple of our organization since the day we selected him in the 2009 MLB Draft. We would not have won the 2019 World Series or accomplished everything we have these last 10 seasons if not for Stephen’s many contributions.”

Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Strasburg put together an historic 2019 Postseason and was named World Series Most Valuable Player after going 2–0 with a 2.51 ERA (4 ER/14.1 IP) and 14 strikeouts in two World Series starts. He became the first pitcher in Major League history to finish a Postseason with a 5–0 record. Strasburg recorded a 1.98 ERA (8 ER/36.1 IP) and 47 strikeouts against just four walks in six Postseason games (five starts). He made his first career relief appearance in the Wild Card game against Milwaukee, tossing 3.0 innings of two-hit, shutout ball to help Washington top the Milwaukee Brewers, 4–3.

“Stephen Strasburg is one of the premier pitching talents of this generation,” said Washington Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo. “His body of work this season and throughout his career proves that and the way he performed this Postseason was nothing short of brilliant. We are looking forward to having Stephen as a part of our team for many years to come.”

A three-time National League All-Star, Strasburg ranks fifth among Major League pitchers with 1,603 strikeouts and is eighth with 107 wins since September of 2011 — his return from Tommy John ligament-replacement surgery. Since his debut in 2010, Strasburg ranks among Major League pitchers in strikeouts per 9.0 innings (4th, 10.60), opponents’ slugging percentage (4th, .352), opponents’ OPS (4th, .631), walks and hits per innings pitched (7th, 1.09), strikeout-to-walk ratio (9th, 4.50), strikeouts (11th, 1,695) and ERA (11th, 3.17).

Chosen as the first overall pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft out of San Diego State University, Strasburg stands as Washington’s all-time (2005-pres.) leader in career wins (112), strikeouts (1,695), starts (239) and innings pitched (1,438.2).

Washington now has 31 players on its 40-man roster.