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Stephen Strasburg’s new deal is heavily backloaded

Stephen Strasburg

Washington Nationals’ Stephen Strasburg pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning of a baseball game, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis)


Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post has the details of Stephen Strasburg’s new long-term deal with the Nationals. It’s a seven year contract on paper -- at least that’s how long the Nats will have control of Strasburg -- but the money is going to be paid out for fourteen years:

Strasburg will receive $15 million annually from 2017-23, and then $10 million per year from 2024-30. This helps the Nationals in two ways: keeping payroll lower in the near term, and also lowering the actual value of the entire package. The Nationals, the person said, figure the deal is actually akin to about $162 million if it were paid out only over the seven-year life of the contract.

As Svrluga notes, this is much like Max Scherzer’s deal, which was also negotiated by Scott Boras. Boras, of course, has a famously friendly relationship with Nats’ ownership. The sort of relationship, one may observe, that seems to actually help a club to sign his clients to more team-friendly terms than Boras normally has a reputation for agreeing to. And, in Strasburg’s case, got him to agree to a deal before he could hit the open market, which Boras clients likewise rarely do.