Washington Nationals agree to seven-year, $175 million deal with Stephen Strasburg

The Washington Nationals have signed Stephen Strasburg to a seven-year, $175 million deal, according to Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post and Jon Heyman of MLB Network

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the deal includes an opt-out after the third or fourth year of the seven-year contract. According to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, Strasburg will earn an extra million dollars every year he tosses at least 180.0 innings for the Nationals. 

Jordan Zimmermann of the Detroit Tigers signed a deal above $100 million this offseason and became the first player to get past Tommy John surgery to sign a deal above that threshold. Strasburg has topped that with a huge $175 million deal. On August 27, 2010, the Nationals announced that Strasburg had a torn ulnar collateral ligament and required Tommy John surgery, which takes about 12 to 18 months to recover from. The right-handed pitcher made his return during the 2011 season for Washington after making six rehab starts during the 2011 minor league season. 

The 27-year-old, who was the first overall pick by the Nationals in the 2009 MLB Draft out of San Diego State University, was signed through 2016 on a one-year, $10.4 million deal prior to signing the lengthy extension. 

Strasburg's coach at San Diego State University, Tony Gwynn, always preferred stability rather that testing the open market. One has to wonder if Strasburg received any advice from his old coach. To make it even more interesting, Strasburg signed the deal on Gwynn's birthday, May 9th. 

Across seven major league years, Strasburg owns a 59-37 record with a 3.06 ERA in 818.2 innings of work on the hill. He has dominated the league with a 1.087 WHIP and a 2.78 FIP. The native of California was a 2012 MLB All-Star and has won the Silver Slugger Award (2012), National League strikeout leader (2014) and the Golden Spikes Award (2009) across his time in the big leagues. 

The contract extension for Strasburg is risky because the pitcher has already had Tommy John surgery once and that automatically increases the chances of the ulnar collateral ligament getting torn again. At the same time, the deal has a huge upside since Strasburg has proven himself as one of the best young pitchers in the game. 

Strasburg is currently 5-0 with a 2.36 ERA in six starts for the Nationals this season.