Washington Nationals, Stephen Strasburg agree to seven-year contract

Stephen Strasburg's seven-year deal with worth $245 million.|Art or Photo Credit: AP

Washington Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg agreed to stay with the World Series champions.
The team announced Monday that Strasburg agreed to a seven-year deal with the team, but did not confirm reports of the landmark contract's value.
ESPN's Jeff Passan reported that Strasburg -- the reigning World Series Most Valuable Player -- and the Nationals hammered out a seven-year contract worth $245 million.
"We are very excited to welcome Stephen Strasburg and his family back to the Washington Nationals," Nationals managing principal owner Mark D. Lerner said in a team-issued release. "His tremendous talent, work ethic and leadership have been a staple of our organization since the day we selected him in the 2009 MLB Draft. We would not have won the 2019 World Series or accomplished everything we have these last 10 seasons if not for Stephen's many contributions."
The $35 million annual average value surpasses the previous high for a pitcher's contract, which was held by Zack Greinke after the right-hander signed a six-year contract worth $206.5 million ($34.4 million average) with the Arizona Diamondbacks following the 2015 season. Strasburg's $245 million total also sets a new mark, breaking the seven-year, $217 million deal left-hander David Price received from the Boston Red Sox following the 2015 campaign.
Lerner said in an interview with NBC Washington earlier this month that the franchise could likely only bring back one of its marquee free agents -- Strasburg or All-Star third baseman Anthony Rendon -- because the payroll already exceeded $220 million before the Strasburg deal.
Strasburg's reported record contract could have a short stay at the top given former Houston Astros right-hander Gerrit Cole is expected to fetch a pretty penny on the open market.
ESPN also reported, as per standard with the Nationals, that a significant portion of the contract is deferred. That's also the case in the Nationals' pact with Max Scherzer.
Strasburg opted out of the final four years of his seven-year, $175 contract with the team after posting career highs in wins (18) and strikeouts (251) this past season.
Strasburg went 5-0 with a 1.98 ERA in six games (five starts) during the postseason while leading the Nationals to their first title. The three-time All-Star started and won both Game 2 and Game 6 of the World Series against the Astros.
Strasburg owns a 112-58 record with a 3.17 ERA in 239 career starts since being tabbed as the No. 1 pick in the 2009 MLB Draft out of San Diego State.