Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Sports

Nationals give Strasburg $175M contract

WASHINGTON — RHP Stephen Strasburg agreed to a new contract with the Nationals that will pay him $175 million over seven seasons starting in 2017.

Strasburg, 27, would have been eligible for free agency for the first time after this season. Instead, he stays with the team that drafted him No. 1 overall in 2009 and shut him down before the playoffs in 2012 to protect his surgically repaired right elbow.

He will go from making $7.4 million this season to earning $25 million annually from 2017-23. The total dollars added equal the sixth highest in a deal for a major-league pitcher. He can opt out and become a free agent after 2019 or 2020.

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

Strasburg has a 2.76 ERA in seven starts this season and is second in the NL with 58 strikeouts.

In other Nationals news, manager Dusty Baker said he is sticking with Ryan Zimmerman as the cleanup hitter behind Bryce Harper "for now."

A day after Harper tied a major-league record by walking six times and Zimmerman failed to make the Cubs regret that strategy by going 1-for-7 and leaving 14 runners on base, Baker kept the middle of the order the same: Harper at No. 3, Zimmerman at No. 4 and Daniel Murphy at No. 5.

CHAPMAN DEFIANT: LHP Aroldis Chapman said he "didn't do anything" as he returned to the Yankees after a 30-day suspension under Major League Baseball's new domestic violence policy. "People are thinking that it's something serious; I have not put my hands on anyone, didn't put anyone in danger," Chapman told the New York Times. "Since I didn't do anything like that, I'm not thinking about it. If I didn't do anything, why should I think about it?" During an argument with his girlfriend, Cristina Barnea, last fall in Davie, Chapman was accused of firing eight shots into the garage wall and, Barnea said, put his hands around her neck.

OBITUARY: John Young, the founder of a baseball youth program that has served thousands across North America and the Caribbean, has died. He was 67. Major League Baseball provided no details. Mr. Young started Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities, known as the RBI program, in 1989. Two years later, MLB assumed its operations.

ANGELS: Gold Glove SS Andrelton Simmons will need surgery to repair a tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb. He'll likely be out 2-3 months.

REDS: RH reliever Layne Somsen was called up from Triple-A Louisville to help an overworked bullpen.

WHITE SOX: C Alex Avila, out since April 23 with a right hamstring strain, was activated from the disabled list.

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