Nationals

Nationals

There is a small section of Stephen Strasburg's contract that has everyone in Washington abuzz. 

Strasburg has a player-option built into his deal that would allow him to walk away from the Nationals at the end of the season. ESPN baseball analyst Buster Olney, however, does not seem too concerned that the righthander will leave Washington. 

Olney joined the Nationals Talk podcast after the Nationals' series in Atlanta. Among the topics discussed were Strasburg and his future with the team. One of the biggest things to keep in mind through all of this, is Strasburg being a Scott Boras client.

"Scott, as we know, will try to maximize and take advantage of the leverage he has in a particular spot," Olney said. 

Boras, in addition to being the agent for Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon, also holds that position for Gerrit Cole of the answer and Hyun-jin Ryu of the Dodgers. Both Cole and Ryu are the other notable free-agent pitchers set to hit the market this year. Both offer similar statistics to Strasburg. 

Those three essentially hold the same value for a team looking to pursue them. The first one to sign will set the market for the other two.

Olney believes that Boras and Strasburg should make it known that he could decline the player-option. It would force the Nationals' hand to get a deal done soon. 

 

But ultimately, Olney says there are two factors to consider on Strasburg potentially declining the option. 

The first, "what Stephen Strasburg's medical reports say. You're talking about someone who's already had Tommy John surgery once and would a team, given the fact that he's 31-year-old and he's had one Tommy John, would teams be reluctant to add on top of the four years and $100 million that he's owed," Olney said.

The second is Strasburg himself:

"I don't know too many players in baseball who are probably more adverse to change than him. I think he likes having things settled. I think that's part of the reason why he basically encouraged Scott to work out a long-term deal with the Nationals when he initially signed that seven years for $175 [million]."

"It may be that privately Stephen's like, 'you know what I'm good,'" Olney said.

He talked about a bevy of other issues swirling around the Nats. Olney isn't too concerned if Max Scherzer isn't ready to pitch for a potential Wild Card game. Olney also touched on Anthony Rendon's impending free agency and who will be bidding for the third baseman.

Listen to the full interview below:

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