Despite obvious financial concerns heading into a critical free agency period, the Washington Nationals have managed to put together one reliable contract offer, which was accepted by Stephen Strasburg.
Strasburg was extraordinarily reliable in the Nats' playoff push and resulting run to the first World Series in franchise history. With Anthony Rendon likely out the door at this juncture, the Nationals are going all-in to invest in their starting pitching, keeping the three-headed monster of Strasburg, Max Scherzer and Patrick Corbin in place long-term.
Multiple teams viewed Strasburg as an ideal backup plan if they missed out on Gerrit Cole, including the Angels and Dodgers, due to the 31-year-old's connections to the West coast.
Stephen Strasburg Contract Details
Strasburg will make $245 million over the next seven years, a deal he truly couldn't turn down.
It's a record-breaking deal for Strasburg, as he's due to make the highest total guaranteed money and average annual value for a pitcher in MLB history.
The Nationals understand how quick the market can move at the Winter Meetings, and with progress being made on the Gerrit Cole front by teams like the Angels and Yankees, Washington had no choice but to hunker down and strike a deal with Strasburg while they still have a chance.
This sets the market for Cole, and then some.