Nats sign Strasburg to 7-year extension

WASHINGTON — It’s official: This will not be Stephen Strasburg’s last season in D.C.

The Washington Nationals have locked in the starting pitcher with a seven-year contract extension. The team announced the deal, worth an estimated $175 million, Tuesday.

Strasburg was eligible to become a free agent at the end of the year.

“Ensuring that Stephen will remain a part of our organization for years to come is a proud moment for our entire family,” said Theodore Lerner, the team’s managing principal owner, in a statement.

General Manager Mike Rizzo said that Strasburg has been more than just a pitcher for the team.

“His talent is transcendent. The numbers speak for themselves. Needless to say I am thrilled we’ll continue to have him as a part of our family on the field and in the community.”

Strasburg was the top overall pick in the 2009 draft and made his Major League debut the following year.

He has a career 59-37 record with a 3.07 ERA. He led the National League in strikeouts with 242 in 2014.

The Nationals drafted him No. 1 overall in 2009 and — in a move debated around baseball — shut him down before the playoffs in his NL All-Star season of 2012 to protect his surgically repaired right elbow.

Strasburg, 27, will go from making $7.4 million this season to earning $25 million annually from 2017-23. The new deal’s total dollars match the 2013-19 contract of Seattle’s Felix Hernandez for the sixth-highest among big league pitchers.

The new contract has an escape clause, though: Strasburg can opt out and become a free agent after the 2019 or 2020 seasons.

Strasburg would earn a $1 million performance bonus each year for pitching 180 innings.

David Price’s deal with the Boston Red Sox that started this season is worth a record $217 million over seven years. Another one of the handful of deals for a pitcher that tops Strasburg’s is the one his Nationals teammate Max Scherzer received as a free agent before last season, paying $210 million, although half of that is deferred money.

WTOP’s Amanda Iacone contributed to this report.

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