How High Is Stephen Strasburg’s Price Tag?


Today, the Washington Nationals signed Max Scherzer to a seven-year $210 million contract. Despite the fact that they will be paying Scherzer until they go blue in the face, the club now appears motivated to move on from former first round draft pick, Stephen Strasburg. With the Twins always looking for pitching, this begs the question; what would the price tag be?

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While it would seem to be a long shot that the Nationals would deal Strasburg after constructing the best rotation in major league baseball, some reports are suggesting otherwise. Despite having control through the 2016 season, Strasburg could be on the move.

So if the Nationals were to in fact dangle Strasburg on the open market, and the Twins were to get in on the bidding, what kind of players would we be parting with?

There is no doubt that a player with Strasburg’s track record would warrant a hefty price tag. The Twins farm system is deep, and everyone around baseball knows that. Looking at top prospects from a pitching perspective, the Twins would likely need to part with some combination of Jose Berrios, Kohl Stewart, Stephen Gonsalves, or Lewis Thorpe. The question then becomes, should the Twins mortgage the long-term efforts of their franchise for the short-term gain?

Minnesota could arguably considered to be on the brink of a Chicago Cubs like turnaround. Expect the Twins to work to promote big name prospects this season, and supplement them with talent in the next offseason. That sort of framework should help to elevate the Twins back into contention in short order. Should the Twins experience that kind of turnaround, they won’t have room for the surplus of arms they have down on the farm. With pitching at a premium, they would need to decide if trading for a proven ace is better than banking on a few top of the rotation guys to pan out.

With where things stand now, I don’t think this is a situation the Twins find themselves in on. Considering the amount they would have to give up, and that they are still likely one year away from the pop, it wouldn’t make sense. If the scenario played out during the 2016 offseason, I could see it being more plausible.

Considering the Nationals options, they do have another starter they could decide to trade. If Strasburg isn’t the guy, it could be Jordan Zimmerman. With one year left on his deal, the Twins could have Zimmerman for a lesser asking price, and could decide to pull that trigger should the deem him joining the team would make an immediate impact.

All things considered, I think the Nationals are best to stand pat and enjoy the rotation they have constructed. Considering the length and money they doled out for Scherzer, they are going to be paying for it in the long run. To capitalize on the contract, and immediate World Series return is of the utmost importance, the best way to position for that is in keeping the best rotation in baseball in tact.

If he hits the market, things will get interesting, but I’d warn against the Twins leveraging the future for either Stephen Strasburg or Jordan Zimmerman.

Next: Did The Nationals Just Save The Twins?

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