The World Series MVP reportedly is staying home.
MLB Network's Jon Heyman reported Monday that star free-agent pitcher Stephen Strasburg is returning to the Nationals. ESPN's Jeff Passan later reported the contract is worth $245 million over seven years.
Stephen Strasburg’s deal with the Washington Nationals is for seven years and $245 million, a source tells ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 9, 2019
The massive contract is the largest in MLB history for a pitcher, and breaks the record for average annual value. The figures also are the same that the Yankees reportedly offered Gerrit Cole in recent days. Cole's deal with his future new team could now reach as high as $300 million.
With one ace off the market, the race to sign longtime Giants hero Madison Bumgarner could speed up.
Bumgarner reportedly wants to stay in San Francisco, but according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, the Giants have "shown no inclination to keep him." In recent days, the Cardinals, Twins and White Sox all have been linked to the left-hander.
“Obviously, he has roots in other parts of the country that may be attractive to him,’’ Giants president of baseball operation Farhan Zaidi said during a recent Q&A at Oracle Park, via The Athletic. “It’s his decision. That’s the beauty of free agency for players. But we are going to be involved in that process.”
The Yankees and Dodgers also briefly were connected to Strasburg, and could shift their focus to Bumgarner, especially if they miss out on Cole. Both franchises are sick of falling short of a World Series ring, and seem primed to make a big move this offseason.
Nightengale also reported Monday that teams are being told Bumgarner is looking for a deal worth at least $100 million over five years. That seems increasingly likely with Zack Wheeler joining the Phillies on a $118 million contract.
With Strasburg's reported contract and the giant wads of cash Cole is about to receive, Bumgarner could be seen as quite the discount for teams. Expect rumors to ramp up regarding MadBum at the Winter Meetings currently being held in San Diego.
Hang tight Giants fans, this could get emotional.