Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals reach record $245M, 7-year deal

Stark How high could the Gerrit Cole price tag go? Think stratospheric As much as $280 million

Stark How high could the Gerrit Cole price tag go? Think stratospheric As much as $280 million

While the Nationals have retained Strasburg, it may effectively remove them from re-signing Rendon.

The $245 million surpasses the seven-year, $217 million deal David Price signed with the Boston Red Sox in December 2015 that was the richest contract a pitcher has received in Major League Baseball history.

Strasburg's deal is the highest for a pitcher in total dollars and average annual value at $35 million. On the heels of a record-setting postseason performance in October, Strasburg enacted the first of those opt-out clauses, believing he'd get more than the four years and $100 million that had been remaining on that deal.

On Monday, the Washington Nationals agreed to terms with free-agent ace and reigning World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg on a record-breaking seven-year deal worth $245 million.

The Nationals were hopeful - perhaps even confident - all along they'd be able to retain Strasburg, who in addition to signing his previous long-term deal had moved his family to the D.C. area full-time last winter and has always expressed a preference for staying in town.

Of course, Strasburg may not hold onto both marks for long as the market for Cole figures to now intensify.

The Nationals were considered a primary suitor for free-agent third baseman Anthony Rendon, who has emerged as the Rangers' top target this off-season. The highest average value had been Zack Greinke's $34.4 million as part of a $206.5 million, six-year agreement with Arizona prior to the 2016 season. He pitched to an 18-6 record with a 3.32 ERA and 1.04 WHIP while striking out 251 batters in 209 innings.

In five postseason starts and one relief appearance, Strasburg was 5-0 with a 1.98 ERA.

Washington has invested heavily in starting pitching.

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