Scott Boras Responds to Claim Nationals Can't Afford Both Strasburg, Rendon

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistDecember 6, 2019

HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 29:  Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals delivers the pitch against the Houston Astros during the second inning in Game Six of the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 29, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Agent Scott Boras is not buying into the claim that the Washington Nationals cannot afford to re-sign both Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon after winning the 2019 World Series.

Boras wrote in a text to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic on Friday:

"The Nationals are experiencing a revenue festival in 2020. World Series momentum has blossomed, millions in DC.

"The franchise value has increased by nearly $2 billion since their purchase. The Nationals made an extra $30 million winning the World Series. Attendance will increase by more than four to five hundred thousand. TV ratings and advertising rates all skyrocketed.

"Everyone in DC knows special cherry trees create revenue bloom."

Boras' comments come in response to Nationals owner Mark Lerner letting it be known that the franchise was in a tough spot in free agency.

"We really can only afford to have one of those two guys," Lerner told NBC Sports Washington's Donald Dell on Thursday. "They're huge numbers. We already have a really large payroll to begin with."

Boras and Washington have completed a handful of mega-contracts in recent years. The Nationals signed Max Scherzer to a seven-year, $210 million deal in 2015 and Patrick Corbin to a six-year, $140 million contract last year.

Boras also represents Bryce Harper, who reportedly rejected a $300 million extension offer from Washington in September 2018. Harper later signed a 13-year, $330 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies in February.

Now, Boras and the Nationals will likely be having plenty of discussions as free agency progresses.

Strasburg is coming off one of his finest seasons to date. He established new career highs in both innings (209) and strikeouts (251) while leading the National League with 18 wins.

Strasburg played a crucial role in the Nationals winning their first-ever World Series title, going 5-0 with a 1.98 ERA in six postseason appearances, including five starts. He went 2-0 while allowing four earned runs in 14.1 innings against the Houston Astros in the World Series.

The 31-year-old right-hander opted out of the final four years and $100 million of his contract after being named World Series MVP.

Rendon, meanwhile, finished third in NL MVP voting as he hit .319/.412/.598 in 146 games this year. He set new career highs in home runs (34), RBI (MLB-leading 126) and OPS (1.010). That performance led to his first career All-Star selection and second Silver Slugger.

The 29-year-old hit .328 with three home runs and 15 RBI in 17 postseason games, recording two dingers and eight RBI during the Fall Classic.

Rendon reportedly rejected a seven-year extension in the range of $210 million to $215 million in September.