The world champion Washington Nationals are keeping Stephen Strasburg around. The star free agent right-hander has agreed to a new seven-year contract with the team, per reports.
Strasburg’s new deal is worth a reported $245 million over those seven seasons. That $35 million yearly salary is the highest ever for a pitcher.
Over the weekend, it was reported that the New York Yankees were set to offer free agent pitcher Gerrit Cole the exact same contract Strasburg just signed. Cole is regarded as the top available pitcher on the market this offseason, with Strasburg being the second-best.
Consequently, one has to think Cole is going to get a lot more than Strasburg wound up with.
Turns out Gerrit Cole market has been enhanced by Strasburg deal, not the reverse as many expected. The reported 245M NYY offer for Cole now looks quite light. Cole is 2 years younger, has no injury history and was even more dominant than Stras last couple years.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 9, 2019
Stephen Strasburg’s seven-year, $245M deal with the #Nationals will give him highest average annual value for a pitcher in major-league history – at least temporarily. Gerrit Cole likely to get even more than $35M per, and for more than seven years. First with terms: @JeffPassan.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 9, 2019
Stephen Strasburg’s deal with the Nationals is absolutely massive. It sets a new record for average annual value at $35 million a year. While there are deferrals, per source, the $245 million number could have a profound effect on the Gerrit Cole market. Is it $300M or bust now?
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 9, 2019
Now, we wait. Will the Yankees, who are said to be all-out in their pursuit of Cole, bump up their offer in terms of years and salary?
If they don’t, who will give Cole the richest pitching contract ever? Most likely, it would be one of the Los Angeles franchises.
Both the Angels and Dodgers have been linked to Cole, who is a native Californian. Both have ample money to spend as well.
Cole is reportedly likely to sign somewhere this week. Stay tuned.