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Dodgers Free Agency: Stephen Strasburg and Nationals Agree to Deal

One of the big three is off the market.

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According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, and confirmed by several others, free agent righty Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals have agreed to a big contract.

7 years and $245M? Yeah, that’s big. The deal includes a full no-trade clause, but also $80M in deferred payments, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

Strasburg — who opted out of 4 years and $100M with Washington — re-ups with the defending World Champs on a record-setting deal for a pitcher. The contract shatters Zack Greinke’s 6 year, $206.5M deal inked with Arizona in December 2015 for a right-hander, and David Price’s 7 year, $217M deal with Boston overall.

With Stras off the market, focus turns to free agent ace Gerrit Cole. Cole, 29, is two years younger than Strasburg and is widely considered the prize player of the off-season. Reports have Cole with a similar contract offer in hand from the New York Yankees, but speculation now has the righty pushing at or near $300M over 7 or 8 seasons.

After huge money went to former Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler (5 year, $118M), the signal was sent that this off-season would be a lucrative one for high level free agent players. With players like Cole Hamels and Kyle Gibson off the market as well, the best pitchers left beyond Cole are Hyun-Jin Ryu and Madison Bumgarner.

Yesterday Jon Heyman reported that the Dodgers are still interested in the free agent Ryu. After this Strasburg deal and open market projections for Gerrit Cole, LA may have little choice but to re-up with the Korean-born lefty. Of course, picking up a Cy Young runner up is hardly a big miss.

NEXT: Friedman Feels Dodgers Can Do Nothing and Be Fine

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

7 Comments

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  1. Wow! 7 years at $245 million with $80 million of it deferred. Dodgers will and would NEVER EVER pay that for a pitcher so now that Strasburg is off the market ,Cole will be a Yankee soon because Dodgers WILL NOT be signing him. So IIWII folks.

    • Agreed. Cole will get a similar deal and never in a million years would the Dodgers offer that. The Yankees said they would do whatever to sign him so there he goes and there goes our chance at pairing another playoff beast with Buehler. Up next, fixing this bullpen. There’s still a chance with Betances and Treinen but I 100% believe that opportunity will pass us up too

  2. Doesn’t affect the Dodgers in N E way…. they have NO INTENTIONS of signing Big Name Free Agents…..Cole and Rendon will sign with other teams….Dodgers will nickle and dime on players no one heard of…..after ALL the Dodgers said they’re going to be VERY DISCIPLINED with Free Agents and as a well be fine should the Dodgers do nothing at all this off season

  3. I feel what these pitchers are getting now is so ridiculous, they are not Bionic, not all that great, Stras had a decent year ,a great playoff run, but is nowhere worth that amount !!!! The Nats are “NUTS” to give him that or anyone else , time catches up very quickly with injuries to pitchers ,this game is so out of hand. I bet that Strasburg will not win more than 14 games in any year and that will be his best year He will be injured again in less than 2 years .so yes Dodgers sign Cole , being (fracioious ) go for an everyday player and stick with your young pitchers they are a good future if you stick with them ,show them your confidence and they will have great confidence of there own and perform greatly , GO DODGERS

    • Johnny, Cole will certainly top Strasburg’s deal and it has been reported that Cole will get maybe a 7 or 8 year deal close to $300 million. So we know Dodgers won’t be giving out that kind of a contract for any pitcher. and to your point about pitchers not being bionic, you are correct, as owner mark Walter once said, “Pitchers break”. Great chance that Cole signs with the Yankees, as they have indicated they will do whatever it takes to reel him in.

      • Just think, every decade, every year everyone including myself says “That’s Ridiculous”. Then the teams that are all in and pay it win multiple World Series. So yes it’s extremely costly at the time, but once again it’s NEVER the time for the Dodgers. So there are 3 major FA’s this year, all are difference makers and all big time post season producers. Strike One Dodgers, you have 2 left. 3 Strikes and your out! In the 1st round!

        • Kirk, you are most likely correct but didn’t I at some point earlier this off season say that the Dodgers would not sign any of tthose big 3 FA’s. Dodgers will thus strike out again this off season, sorry to say but most likely the case.

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