The Washington Nationals are built on the strength of their pitching rotation, but contract talks between the team and star pitcher Stephen Strasburg are dead in the water.
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Nationals, Strasburg Not Talking Extension
Monday, Feb. 15
Strasburg's agent, Scott Boras, said Strasburg has not discussed a contract extension with the Nationals, per ESPN.com.
Strasburg, Washington's first overall pick in 2009 out of San Diego State, is set to become a free agent after the upcoming season. He and the Nationals settled on a one-year, $10.4 million deal Jan. 15 to avoid arbitration, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network.
Per ESPN.com, Boras noted the sides will not discuss a new contract until after the season.
Strasburg has had an up-and-down career. After a 5-3 start to his rookie campaign in 2010, he underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery.
He made only five starts in 2011 but became an All-Star for the first time in 2012, when he finished 15-6 with a 3.16 ERA and 197 strikeouts in 159.1 innings. Since then, he has gone 33-27 with a 3.17 ERA in 87 starts.
If the same Strasburg who finished 2015 strong shows up this season, the right-hander could be in for a huge payday, per D.J. Short of Rotoworld:
D.J. Short @djshort
Knew Stephen Strasburg was awesome after coming off the DL last year, but holy... 1.90 ERA, 92/8 K/BB in 66 1/3 IP over his final 13 starts.2016-2-14 13:31:44
Over the last three seasons, Strasburg has never had an ERA above 3.46, and his strikeout numbers have been great. He struck out a career-high 242 batters in 2014, when he tied for the National League lead.
The 27-year-old has already bounced back from Tommy John surgery and shown flashes of being one of the best pitchers in baseball. If the Nationals can't get him to agree to an extension, another team will come along and invest the future of its franchise in Strasburg.