The Washington Nationals will have their World Series parade on Saturday, but the opt-out deadline for Stephen Strasburg also looms.
The Washington Nationals, left for proverbial dead in May, will celebrate their World Series win with the traditional parade on Saturday afternoon. For MVP Stephen Strasburg, something bigger for his future looms.
Strasburg can opt out of his contract, and forego the final four years and $100 million left on the seven-year, $175 million extension he signed in May of 2016. Leaving $100 million on the table in pursuit of more (money and/or years) is a risky proposition, but after a great season and an even better postseason, Strasburg is in position to do it and come out better off on the open market.
The Nationals’ World Series parade is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET Saturday. When is Strasburg’s opt-out deadline? As Mark Feinsand of MLB.com tells us, it’s two hours before the parade starts. Talk about potentially awkward.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw had a similar situation just last year. The Dodgers had of course just lost the World Series, with Kershaw’s opt-out deadline coming three days after its conclusion. The two sides agreed to extend the deadline from midnight Wednesday to 4 p.m. ET Friday, and Kershaw signed a new three-year, $93 million deal to stay.
If Strasburg does opt out it’s not a be-all, end-all, since he can just re-sign with the Nationals without another thought as Kershaw did with the Dodgers. But he also very well may give his agent, Scott Boras, a blessing to explore other options on his behalf before eventually circling back to Washington with what would amount to a “match this or I’ll go” ultimatum.
If an agreement can’t be reached to extend the deadline, Strasburg feels like a lock to exercise his opt-out on Saturday. Even if he wants to go back to the Nationals, and ultimately does re-sign, he will then technically be riding a parade float as a free agent.