#2 Stephen Strasburg
The current Nationals star is owed 100 million dollars over the next 4 years however, he has the ability to opt out this offseason if he so desires. Considering Strasburg led the entire National League in wins and innings pitched, has won 3 postseason games this year, and is about to make his first World Series appearance, it’s reasonable to assume he will opt out to land an even bigger payday.
Strasburg had an ERA of 3.32 in 2019 and a career ERA of 3.17. His WHIP was a surreal 1.038 this past season and he frequently pitched deep into games for the Nats this year. Similar to Bumgarner, Strasburg elevates his play come October, as his postseason ERA currently sits at a surreal 1.10.
Given that “Stras” opts out this winter (which I really think he will) his market value should be through the roof. As the 2019 regular season concluded, it was already reasonable to assume he would demand a hefty fee this offseason. However, after a historically dominant run this October from the right-hander and his Nats, Stras’ price has only gone up.
An important note to make of Strasburg is the potential that he does in fact remain with the Nats. Washington drafted him and they are about to participate in their franchises’ first ever World Series. Given the young core of hitters around him (Turner, Soto and Robles), it does make sense to hang around DC for a few years longer (given that the price is right).
I expect Strasburg to demand a contract somewhere north of 200 million dollars, a massive deal that will fall just short of the guy who clocks in at #1 on this list…