Strasburg Contract Details

Ken Rosenthal further breaks out the Strasburg contract

Strasburg will receive a $7.5 million signing bonus, payable in three installments — $2.5 million 15 days after his deal is approved, $2.5 million on Jan. 10, 2010 and $2.5 million on Jan. 10, 2011. He also will receive salaries of $400,000 this season (pro-rated), $2 million in ‘10, $2.5 million in ‘11 and $3 million in ‘12.

So, it looks like this

  • 2009: $2.6 million total ($2.5 million in bonus & $100K in pro-rated salary)
  • 2010: $4.5 million total ($2.5 million in bonus & $2 million in salary)
  • 2011: $5.0 million total ($2.5 million in bonus & $2.5 million in salary)
  • 2012: $3.0 million total (all salary)

Assuming Nightengale’s report is true and Strasburg does not make his MLB debut until 2010, the Nationals did not buy out any of his arbitration years.

If he makes the Opening Day roster in 2010 and spends the next three full seasons (2010, 2011, & 2012) on the 25-man roster, the Nationals and Strasburg will head to arbitration for the first of three times after the 2012 season.

The only way the Nationals could perhaps “earn” an extra year is by keeping Strasburg in the minor leagues until June of 2010 in order to avoid Super Two status, that would put him at 2 years and 100 or so days at the end of 2012, giving the Nats one more year of pre-arbitration control in 2013.

But I don’t think that happens.

As for free agency, the Nationals now are likely to have the services of Strasburg through the 2016 season. If the Nats are smart, they will do exactly what they did with Jordan Zimmermann and hold off on bringing Strasburg to the majors until a few weeks into the 2010 season in order to push his free agency out one year.

  1. #1 by Louis J. - August 18th, 2009 at 09:04

    Brian Did the Nats sign Miguel Pena (5th Rd) before the deadline.

  2. #2 by Brian Oliver - August 18th, 2009 at 09:05

    No, Pena did not sign

  3. #3 by Ric - August 18th, 2009 at 10:20

    Doesn’t it feel better today than this time last year?

  4. #4 by Pilchard - August 18th, 2009 at 10:20

    I hope (but do not expect) the Nats keep SS off the 25 man active roster until June 2010 to avoid super-two status. Taking Jordan Zimmerman as the example what did the Nats gain by bringing JZ up in mid-April instead of waiting until the end of May? Not a thing.

    I realize that the media and the public will be clamoring to have SS pitching on the MLB level ASAP, but it appears that SS will not play professional baseball in 2009, except for a short stint in the AZL. Why not let him pitch in April and May for Harrisburg and/or Cuse to start the season to get him ready for professional baseball?

    FWIW, Boras clients almost always go to arbitration and FA; so, it really is in the Nats interests to keep him under team control as long as is possible.

  5. #5 by Louis J - August 18th, 2009 at 10:24

    Except for a few hundred thousand ($15mil -$15.67mil), seems to me that this deal could have been make earlier than the deadline. Boros is a drama queen who tells his clients that I can get you another $400000-$500000 by waiting; however, the waiting pushes back the players development.

  6. #6 by VladiHondo - August 18th, 2009 at 10:36

    On the Miguel Pena non-signing – did the Nats not take (or get) good input from their Texas scout as to how to negotiate with him?

    I would figure the guy who’s seen him the most (the scout) and talked with him the most would have a decent feel for the type of person he is and know how to get a deal done. The “one ultimatum too much” result is discouraging, since it seems it came from the GM side of things.

  7. #7 by Todd Boss - August 18th, 2009 at 10:39

    Forget super two status; if Strasburg is ready, he has to start the season in the rotation next year. We drafted him to use him.

  8. #8 by Greg - August 18th, 2009 at 11:21

    Brian, thanks. Really interested in seeing your Top 10 now that the signing deadline has passed. Er, maybe I missed the most recent one….

  9. #9 by Steveo - August 18th, 2009 at 11:26

    I agree I don’t see them holding him off until June to get another non Super two year. At best I think we see Strasburg up at the Nats 2nd or 3rd home stand (with probably a sellout crowd).

    The Nightengale comments did surprise me. He even has one Tweet saying Boras said he hopes they take their time developing Strasburg…that seems pretty surprising b/c if it takes until 2011, Boras will have lost some leverage and money for FA down the road.

  10. #10 by Pilchard - August 18th, 2009 at 11:45

    It appears that most people don’t appreciate the difference between pitching at the MLB level and pitching in the Mountain West Conference.

    Yes, SS has all the tools, but the kid still has a lot to learn about pitching on the professional level. Just hope that the Nats are done with the Jim Bowden philosophy of “showing off my new toy” and manage his career to ensure his and the team’s long term success.

    In the scheme of things, it is simply not significant whether SS makes his Nats debut in April verus June versus August next year.

  11. #11 by Sec 204 Row H Seat 7 - August 18th, 2009 at 12:35

    Strange about the Pena deal. The kid said back in June, he would sign by the deadline. Equally strange, is that Crow did not sign with KC. The team web site is silent about this. Anyone have an idea what’s going on with this guy?

  12. #12 by Brian Oliver - August 18th, 2009 at 12:37

    Crow can sign all the way up to a week before next year’s draft

  13. #13 by Pilchard - August 18th, 2009 at 12:43

    Crow and his agents appear to the big losers IMO.

    The fact that the Nats were able to reach a deal with Scott Boras and sign SS, while Crow again held out past the deadline (understand that he can still sign with KC, but he is now 14 months removed from the 2008 draft, has been drafted twice, still has nothing to show for it) again, really makes AC look bad.

    The kid is really hosed as the Royals do not appear to be willing to offer as much as the Nats did in 2008, and if he refuses to sign again, his value will plummet even more.

    Crow has lost a year+ of development for nothing. Hope his agents have paid their malpractice premiums.

  14. #14 by Eric - August 18th, 2009 at 12:48

    Ok nice Strasbug numbers! Now we need a new Tragic Number update!

  15. #15 by Brian Oliver - August 18th, 2009 at 12:56

    How about tomorrow?

  16. #16 by Dick - August 18th, 2009 at 13:02

    If you’ve been reading the blogs, including this one, you would know that Crow’s agents have nothing to worry about regarding malpractice. Anything that has happened with Crow is because the Lerners are cheap.

  17. #17 by Pilchard - August 18th, 2009 at 13:37

    Dick. Not buying that. I am a big-time skeptic of the Lerners and believe Bowden to be a clown, but by all reports, the Nats offered over-slot ($3.5 million) for Crow the #9 pick in the 2008 draft. Only 4 picks in that draft were offered more expensive bonuses.

    The #4 pick that year, Brian Matusz (who is already in the bigs) received $3.2 million from the O’s.

    Would love to get the links that establish that the Lerner’s were cheap in their offer to Crow, when they offered the 5th highest bonus (and well over slot) to the #9 pick in the 2008 draft.

  18. #18 by Andrew F. - August 18th, 2009 at 13:45

    I am absolutely fine with SS starting in and spending a few months in the minors next year. No need whatsoever to rush him.

  19. #19 by John O’Connor - August 18th, 2009 at 14:05

    Crow’s problem is that although the deadline didn’t pass, if he’s not signed by Spring Training, the Royals don’t gain much by extending themselves to pay an above-slot bonus when they can have another (albeit unprotected) pick in just a couple of months.

  20. #20 by TimDz - August 18th, 2009 at 14:15

    Brian…I am sure you got similar feedback, but I just wanted to give you kudo’s for your work, in general, but especially over these past few frenetic days. Take a break, you’ve earned it…

  21. #21 by Brian Oliver - August 18th, 2009 at 14:16

    Thanks. Sleep will be good tonight.

  22. #22 by Dick - August 18th, 2009 at 14:16

    Pilchard, I was being facetious. Sometimes I think you, me and perhaps a few others are the only ones that get it about Crow.

  23. #23 by SlowPitch63 - August 18th, 2009 at 14:43

    Great job, Brian, I appreciate your hard work, and enjoy it tremendously… especially when things turn out so well.

    Let’s play two!

  24. #24 by John O’Connor - August 18th, 2009 at 15:07

    We’re not paying you to sleep ;-)

  25. #25 by NG - August 18th, 2009 at 15:47

    Just want to echo the kudos for your hard work in keeping this website going. This is a peerless resource for Nationals information.

  26. #26 by Scott - August 18th, 2009 at 16:01

    I see no reason at all not to start him in the #5 spot in the rotation next spring and utilize him similarly to Clayton Kershaw (lots of starts with extra rest, VERY defined pitch counts and inning limits). He has plus command in addition to his ridiculous stuff, there’s no reason at all to expect he has a ton to learn in the minors.

    Mark Prior, for example, went 51 innings with a 79/18 K/BB ratio between AA and AAA at age 21 in his first season before being called up with the Cubs. He then went 116.2 innings in the majors that season with a 147/38 K/BB ratio. Guys with combinations of plus stuff and plus command – e.g. Prior, Mussina, Cole Hamels – don’t seem to learn a whole lot in the minors from what I see on Baseball Reference besides how to overwhelm limited competition.

  27. #27 by Brian Oliver - August 18th, 2009 at 16:04

    Scott- I’d still delay it a couple of weeks just to push off free agency one year

  28. #28 by Scott - August 18th, 2009 at 16:06

    Anyways, some may argue that we don’t lose anything by taking this slowly. I disagree. I think there’s a lot to be gained by bringing him up at the beginning of the season, getting that energy and anticipation up, possibly getting off to a good start, etc. rather than bringing him up in June when the team is 20-40 and 15 games back already.

    But I guess a lot will depend on how advanced and ready he looks during spring training next year.

  29. #29 by Scott - August 18th, 2009 at 16:08

    You’re right, I have no idea what the clock is in this situation. A couple weeks obviously makes sense. 3 months, to me, is too long if service time manipulation is the only reason and he’s just devouring triple-A bats.

    In that case, I tend to agree with KLaw when he says, if an arm has a limited number of pitches to throw, why waste them?

  30. #30 by BinM - August 18th, 2009 at 17:38

    The long wait is over, and the Nationals landed both Strasburg & Karns on the final day; Excellent!

    So Strasburg comes into Viera in 2010 & gets stretched out like everyone else on the 40-man. Unless he’s “lights-out” with all three pitches, he’ll probably catch a high-A or AA assignment to start the year, then move up from there.

  31. #31 by rosco - August 18th, 2009 at 17:42

    Karns ended his year throwing 84 innings and striking out 104…Congrats to all those who signed!

  32. #32 by Dougie - August 18th, 2009 at 18:51

    Well…it’s almost 18 hours after the deadline. I was almost three hours late for work this morning, and still, the only thing I have to add is….Yahoooooooooooooo! Turns out I’m very easy to please.

  33. #33 by Andrew Stebbins - August 19th, 2009 at 01:43

    Rizzo out. Gordon Edes of Yahoo also has the story


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