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Two factors to consider for Stephen Strasburg's player-option, according to Buster Olney

Two factors to consider for Stephen Strasburg's player-option, according to Buster Olney

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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ESPN releases Sunday Night Baseball schedule, Nationals make zero appearances

ESPN releases Sunday Night Baseball schedule, Nationals make zero appearances

ESPN released its Sunday Night Baseball schedule for the 2020 season and the World Series Champion Nationals are not on it. 

The Mets are scheduled to play three times on baseball's prime time television slot, while the Dodgers are set to appear three times as well. The Braves are the only other NL East team scheduled to play. 

Here's a look at the schedule so far. 

As you can probably tell, there's plenty of Red Sox, Yankees, Cubs and Dodgers in there.

There's a lot of uncertainty surrounding the Nationals' roster due to Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon's free agencies, but come on. The Mets?

On the chance the Nationals lose both Strasburg and Rendon in free agency, they still have a great chance at being competitive and intriguing all year. 

Sunday Night Baseball is supposed to be the biggest game of the week and to not have the defending champions once feels wrong regardless of your allegiances.

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MLB Rumors: Yankees reportedly believe Stephen Strasburg is returning to the Nationals

MLB Rumors: Yankees reportedly believe Stephen Strasburg is returning to the Nationals

With more uncertainty surrounding the Nationals' roster than in recent memory, it appears the franchise might be able to check one name off their list. 

Stephen Strasburg and Gerrit Cole are considered the top pitchers available in free agency and have both met with the Yankees already. While reports around Cole suggest he could be primed for a move to the Bronx, it seems New York no longer believes they can win Strasburg over. 

On MLB Network Monday morning, Jon Heyman said, "I know the Yankees for one, believe that Strasburg is going back to Washington."

After a meeting in which Brian Cashman and company brought in Andy Pettite to help sway Strasburg into putting on the Yankee pinstripes, they probably gained a decent idea of where Strasburg's heart lied. 

There was a report two weeks ago saying Strasburg could re-sign with the Nationals as soon as early as before the Winter Meetings, so a return by No. 37 could be coming soon. 

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