WASHINGTON — So all these years later, it sure sounds as if Stephen Strasburg signed a $175 million, seven-year contract with the Nationals precisely because of their decision to end his 2012 season before the playoffs — not despite it.
"As a competitor, it was a very tough pill to swallow," Strasburg said Tuesday about the shutdown to protect his surgically repaired right elbow.
"But I think, at the end of the day, you have to look at what their intentions are. And I think their intentions are that it's an investment, and they want me to be here pitching at a high level for a long time. Hopefully with this group of guys, we can have more opportunities to be in that spot again."
Flanked by agent Scott Boras and team GM Mike Rizzo at a news conference, Strasburg spoke of being comfortable in Washington — with his team and his family.
Over and over again, the topic of what happened four years ago arose.
"At that point, my thoughts were that (the shutdown) was unprecedented, actually, in baseball, No. 1," first-year Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. "And my second thought was there was no guarantee that they were going to get back (to the postseason) again.
"So it's sort of a 50-50 tossup on my opinion of which one was right. Was it right for him? Evidently it was."
Also, Major League Baseball said it is reviewing Nationals RF Bryce Harper's confrontation with umpire Brian Knight on Monday night to decide whether he should be disciplined.
PROSPECT SUSPENDED: Royals minor-league SS Raul Mondesi, considered the team's top prospect, was suspended for 50 games for testing positive for clenbuterol, a banned steroid. Mondesi, 20, son of former NL rookie of the year Raul Mondesi, had a mandatory 80-game suspension reduced on agreement between Major League Baseball and the players' union after Mondesi showed the steroid came from cold medicine.
ANGELS GET INFIELD HELP: Anaheim acquired INF Brendan Ryan from Washington for cash considerations a day after Angels SS Andrelton Simmons had surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb.
ROYALS: RHP Chris Young flew to Kansas City to have an MRI exam on his right forearm. Young allowed five home runs in 22/3 innings against the Yankees on Monday and has a 6.68 ERA in seven starts.
YANKEES: 1B Mark Teixeira was out of the starting lineup because of neck spasms.