Stephen Strasburg put himself in a position to opt out of the four years $100 million remaining on his seven-year $175 million contract by having a fully healthy and productive season. After averaging only 145 innings per year between 2015 and 2018, he pitched 209 innings and won World Series MVP, setting him up for another huge payday.
The three teams he is most likely to end up on are…
They drafted him first overall in 2009 and was the World Series MVP in October. This has cemented his legacy in DC, and it would be hard for the fans and ownership to see him leave.
With $53 million invested in their top two starters and a 30 million + per year contract needed to keep Anthony Rendon, it will be tricky to keep the payroll in check if they want to keep both. They will certainly try and if they want to be competitive in the NL East, they should extend the payroll and make it happen.
Strasburg is from San Diego, and the Padres are a team looking to move into contention.
What they do not have is an ace, and they can change that by bringing Stephen Strasburg home. He would surely relish the chance to play for his hometown team, and the owner Ron Fowler told the San Diego Union-Tribune that heads will roll if they do not win in 2020 which suggests moves are coming this offseason.
With the $70 million tied up in Eric Hosmer, Machado and Wil Myers surely a problem for the small market Padres, there will need to be a dramatic increase in payroll or some creative trades to fit another big contract into the roster.
After spending $11 million on Matt Harvey to improve their rotation went predictably terribly in 2019, the Angels are back in the market for a starting pitcher. They have been heavily linked to Gerrit Cole, but if they fail to convince the south California native to join, they should turn to another in Strasburg.
Owner Arte Moreno has not been afraid to spend historically, and the hiring of Joe Maddon shows a desire to win now. They employ the best player in the world at the peak of his powers and should finally give him a starting rotation built around the returning Shohei Ohtani and either Strasburg or Cole.