If the Nats want Strasburg, they'll have to pay up

April, 25, 2009
Watching Michael Smith explain why he thought the Detroit Lions had won one war when they were able to take Clayton Kershaw's former high school teammate Matthew Stafford to a sixth year on his rookie contract led one to think about the Washington Nationals' upcoming dealings with Stephen Strasburg.

If the Nationals want to tie Strasburg up through his arbitration years, they probably will have to look at the contract the Texas Rangers gave to Mark Teixeira, who was selected in the 2001 draft, when Major League Baseball's revenues were less than half of what they are now.

With his signing bonus and three-year contract, Teixeira got $11 million. He then received salaries of $6.5 million, $9 million and $12.5 million, so he earned almost $40M for his first six years before signing his $180 million deal with the Yankees. If not Teixeira, Strasburg might point to the contract the Red Sox gave Daisuke Matsuzaka: six years, $52 million.

Teixeira, Matsuzaka and Strasburg are all represented by Scott Boras.

So Strasburg has an Aug. 15 deadline signing written all over him.


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