On Friday night, the Washington Nationals‘ Twitter account confirmed that the club has agreed to a one-year deal with pitcher Stephen Strasburg, avoiding arbitration.
The #Nats agreed to terms with RHP Stephen Strasburg today, avoiding arbitration.
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) January 11, 2014
Washington now has eight players left on their arbitration-eligible list. Jordan Zimmermann, Doug Fister, Ross Detwiler, Tyler Clippard, Drew Storen, Jerry Blevins, Wilson Ramos and Ian Desmond are all also arbitration-eligible. Prior to coming to an agreement with Strasburg, the Nationals came to an agreement with Ross Ohlendorf back in early December.
John Heyman of CBS Sports, who originally reported the deal, tweeted the figures for Strasburg’s one-year deal with the Nationals.
stephen strasburg gets $3.975M plus performance bonuses for 2014, avoiding arbitration. #nats
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) January 11, 2014
As you can see, the Nationals have reached an agreement with the 2009 first-round draft pick that is friendly to both sides.
Last year, Washington paid Strasburg $3.9 million and he pitched well to an 8-9 record. While his record was sub-.500, don’t let that fool you, he was as good as ever in 2013. Strasburg pitched a 3.00 ERA, lower than his 3.16 ERA when he won 15 games in 2012, and struck out 191 batters while walking just 56. He averaged nine strikeouts per nine innings and finished with a career-best WHIP of 1.049.
The fact that these two sides agreed to a deal before arbitration is a good sign of the relationship between both sides. Having a solid relationship will be beneficial next offseason when we could see Washington try to sign Strasburg to a multi-year extension, rather than going back to arbitration. Strasburg is represented by Scott Boras, and Boras and general manager Mike Rizzo have a history of signings together, so it’s no surprise that there’s a healthy relationship there.