Big news, though unsurprising news at that: MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that starter Stephen Strasburg has opted out of the remainder of his contract with the Nationals to become a free agent. Strasburg had four years and $100 million remaining of what was in total a seven-year, $175 million extension.
Strasburg, 31, led the National League with 18 wins and 209 innings pitched along with a 3.32 ERA and a 251/56 K/BB ratio during the regular season. He was even better in the postseason, going 5-0 with a 1.98 ERA and a 47/4 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings, helping the Nationals win a championship and earning World Series MVP honors in the process.
It’s fairly certain Strasburg will be able to find many more years and many more dollars in free agency, so opting out was a no-brainer. Now the rest of the league will be able to pursue his services. Fellow free agent starter Gerrit Cole will likely set the market, so don’t expect Strasburg to sign until after Cole does.
Worth noting: Both pitchers are represented by Scott Boras, who has advised his clients in the past to wait out the slow free agent market, even into February and March, in order to get the deals they deserve. That could very well be the case again with Cole and Strasburg.
LOS ANGELES — Giancarlo Stanton, Josh Donaldson, and Tommy Kahnle were activated by the New York Yankees ahead of their weekend series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
New York cleared three roster spots after a 1-0 loss at Seattle, optioning infielder-outfielders Oswaldo Cabrera and Franchy Cordero to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre along with left-hander Matt Krook.
Stanton, Donaldson and Kahnle all played in a rehab game for Double-A Somerset. Stanton was hitless in three at-bats in his first appearance since injuring his left hamstring on April 15.
Donaldson went 1 for 4 in his fourth rehab game as he comes back from a strained right hamstring originally sustained on April 5.
Kahnle pitched one inning, giving up one run and one hit and walking two. He has been out since spring training with right biceps tendinitis.
Aaron Boone said he wasn’t concerned about Stanton returning after playing in just one rehab game. He did say that Stanton likely will be a designated hitter for a couple of weeks after rejoining the Yankees.
New York is missing centerfielder Harrison Bader, who strained his right hamstring against the Mariners and went on the injured list the next day.
Left-hander Carlos Rodón, sidelined since spring training by a sore left forearm and an ailing back, was transferred to the 60-day injured list.