The Washington Nationals made a big move on Monday, retaining their young star in Stephen Strasburg. The two agreed to a seven-year, $175 million extension, which is a risk for the Nationals, given Strasburg’s injury history thus far. It was, however, a necessary move, and one that more than likely would have happened had he made it to free agency.
The contract is obviously massive, but by today’s standards — particularly with regards to Scott Boras being his agent — the deal wasn’t as large as it could have been had he hit the open market. Strasburg was underpaid prior to this megadeal, making $10.4 million this season, compared to $25 million going forward.
Strasburg wasn’t the only pitcher deserving of a big contract. There are a handful of other hurlers that are underpaid and are worthy of a $100 million deal like Strasburg.
In each of the past three seasons, Bumgarner has posted an ERA under 3.00. He’s also finished in the top nine of Cy Young voting each year since 2013, and he’s a sure bet to be at the top this season, too. Yet, he’s only making $7 million a year on his five-year, $35 million contract. That deal ends after the 2017 season with club options for the following two years, but he deserves a big contract immediately. He’s been a better and more consistent pitcher than Strasburg and should be paid accordingly. It’s just a matter of time before that happens.