Stephen Strasburg inked a seven-year, $175 million contract extension with the Nationals which was made official on Tuesday morning. Strasburg would have been the headliner in a weak free agent class. Now, Clay Buchholz may very well be the top arm available in free agency after the season, which is saying something.
Will this lead to a more active trade market this season? Jon Morosi seems to think so as he explains in a column for MLB.com. Athletics starter Sonny Gray would likely be the most sought-after prize despite his lackluster start to the season. Jose Fernandez and Danny Salazar could also be moved if their respective teams end up falling out of contention by the August 1 trade deadline. The Braves could move Julio Teheran to facilitate their rebuilding process.
The baseball landscape has evolved, as teams are locking up their young players rather than letting them hit free agency. We’re used to seeing at least a handful of superstars, but the 2017 free agent class could be the most underwhelming ever.