The first big signing of MLB’s offseason could come even before the Winter Meetings.
After opting out of the remaining four years and $100 million on his contract with the Nationals, Stephen Strasburg is one of the most sought-after pitchers in free agency. Strasburg’s hometown Padres reportedly plan on making a push for the 31-year-old World Series MVP, but the San Diego Union-Tribune reported recently that the Padres likely do not have room in their budget for Strasburg.
Strasburg will come with a hefty price tag after he had a 3.32 ERA in the regular season, and the reigning champs reportedly began negotiating a new deal immediately after Strasburg’s opt-out decision and are heavy favorites to bring him back. MLB.com reports a deal could reached before the Dec. 8 Winter Meetings, which is where traction on free-agency deals usually begins.
So long as ex-Astros ace Gerrit Cole remains available, the Nationals are seemingly the only team that would classify Strasburg as their No. 1 starting-pitching target.