World Series Most Valuable Player Stephen Strasburg has opted out of the final four years and $100 million of his contract with the Washington Nationals, multiple outlets reported Saturday night.
The 31-year-old right-hander is coming off a brilliant postseason, finishing 5-0 with a 1.98 ERA and 47 strikeouts against four walks in 36 1/3 innings.
Strasburg just completed the third season of a seven-year, $175 million contract signed in May 2016. Agent Scott Boras has been known to encourage his clients to strike when they have the leverage.
Earlier this week, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said he didn’t know how things would play out.
“I’m not sure. We haven’t spoken at all about it,” Rizzo said regarding whether Strasburg will opt out. “We did not want to speak about it. I haven’t spoken to his agent about it. We’ll certainly be communicating diligently over the next couple of days, seeing what he’s going to do.”
Strasburg was 18-6 with a 3.32 ERA and 251 strikeouts in 209 innings in 2019, leading the NL in wins and innings. The three-time All-Star is 112-58 with a 3.17 ERA and 1,695 strikeouts in 239 starts with the Nationals since 2010. They made him the top overall pick in the 2009 draft.
There was more roster news out of the nation’s capital Saturday, just three days after the Nationals defeated the Houston Astros 6-2 in Game 7 to win their first World Series.
According to MLB Network’s Mark Feinsand, Washington picked up the 2020 options for left-handed reliever Sean Doolittle ($6.5 million) and outfielder Adam Eaton ($9.5 million), but declined the options for first baseman Ryan Zimmerman ($18 million) and catcher Yan Gomes ($9 million).
Doolittle, 33, went 6-5 with 29 saves and a 4.05 ERA in 63 games in 2019.
Eaton, 30, hit .279 with a career-high 15 homers and 49 RBIs in 151 games this season, his third year in Washington.
Zimmerman, 35, is the Nationals’ longest-tenured player and the franchise’s career leader in hits, doubles, homers and RBIs. Limited to 52 games in 2019, he batted .257 with six homers and 27 RBIs.
Gomes, 32, batted .223 with 12 homers and 43 RBIs in 97 games in his first season in Washington. The 2018 All-Star spent the previous six seasons with the Cleveland Indians.
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)