Breaking Down the Effects of Stephen Strasburg’s Mega Deal

The Washington Nationals re-signed Stephen Strasburg to a record seven-year deal worth $245 million on Monday. While Strasburg is now off the market, his deal has a lot of effect on what happens to other free agents.

Let’s break down how Strasburg’s deal will affect other big-name free agents.

Gerrit Cole

Cole is the biggest free agent this offseason. The New York Yankees are making a big push for him while both Los Angeles teams are also interested. However, the Yankees have made signing Cole their top priority.

The Yankees have offered Cole a contract worth more than Strasburg’s deal, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney. However, it is unknown what the exact terms are.

Anthony Rendon

Rendon will likely not be back with the Nationals after Strasburg’s huge deal, although general manager Mike Rizzo said he’s not ruling out the possibility of re-signing Rendon even after Strasburg’s deal. (It’s worth noting that the CBA prohibits teams from declaring themselves “out” of a pursuit.)

“You look at the history of the Nationals. … This ownership group has never shied away from putting the resources together to field a championship-caliber club,” Rizzo said in a press conference at the Winter Meetings. “I don’t see them in any way hindering us from going after the elite players in the game. I think that Anthony Rendon is, again, one of the players that is most near and dear to my heart. So, he’s a guy that we love. The ownership has always given us the resources to field a great team, and we’re always trying to win, and we’re going to continue to do so.”

The Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Philadelphia Phillies are teams interested in Rendon. However, the Phillies just signed Didi Gregorious. Look for the Rangers to pursue Rendon because they seem to want him the most. If Rendon doesn’t re-sign with the Nationals, he will most likely go to the Rangers. Look for the Rangers to go after Josh Donaldson if they don’t get Rendon.

Kris Bryant

According to Jon Paul Morosi of, the Nationals have made an inquiry to the Chicago Cubs about trading for third baseman Kris Bryant. Bryant is among the top position player trade candidates this offseason. However, where he ends up depends on what happens with his service-time grievance.

Depending on what happens with the grievance, Bryant could become a free agent after the 2020 season instead of after the 2021 season, which is when he’s currently scheduled to hit the market. This season, Bryant hit .282 with 31 home runs and 77 RBI. Rendon had better numbers than Bryant, but Bryant would be a good replacement for Rendon. Look for the Nationals to go after Bryant if Rendon does not return.

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