Dodgers Have Reportedly Been Talking with Stephen Strasburg

(Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports)

Depending on where you venture online for information surrounding the Dodgers and the hot stove, some media sources may be credible while others may not. If you’re confused about which sources are valid, usually the guys from the bigger, established outlets are genuine with their reports, while the lesser-known voices can sometimes be inaccurate.

When we report on this site, we almost always link where the information has originated. If it’s an opinion piece, we normally clarify before getting to deep into the story.

This is the time of the season where rumors are running rampant, so it may be a good idea to pick and choose the reports which you decide to believe—just the obligatory winter public service announcement from both Andy and myself.

Anyway, there were some whispers on Monday among all the contract news that the Dodgers have been in talks with righty pitcher Stephen Strasburg. Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports—whether you decide to believe him or not—confirmed those reports on Tuesday. Additionally, Nightengale stated that the Dodgers have been linked to Anthony Rendon (which we already knew), in addition to pitcher Kevin Gausman.

There are also rumors stating that the Dodgers may conceivably make a big splash in terms of a trade, should the opportunity present itself.

Regarding Strasburg, some pundits feel that he’s the likeliest to remain in Washington when being compared to Rendon. If Strasburg lands somewhere else, he’ll have draft pick compensation attached to him, although it shouldn’t be a huge factor considering Strasburg’s value. There are some feelings that the righty might prefer to land in SoCal being that he grew up in the San Diego area and attended college at San Diego State.

Strasburg and the Nationals avoided arbitration for three straight years from 2014-16, coming to an agreement on a seven-year, $175 million extension back in May 2016. According to multiple reports, the deal included $70 million in deferred salary, with $30 million of that deferred money already earned through 2019.

As stated by Spotrac, the 2019 World Series MVP was slated to earn $25 million in 2020, folloed by a mere $15 million for each of the 2021 and 2022 seasons. His contract would have ended in 2023 when he would have made a whopping $45 million for the year.

Tim Dierkes of MLBTR, who is well-known for his contract projections, predicts that Strasburg will land a six-year deal worth $180 million.

Says Dierkes, “His strikeout and walk rates continued to be excellent, and at a time when the juiced ball turned the entire league into 30-homer threats, Strasburg cut back on his 2018 home-run rate while logging the second-highest grounder rate of his career. His postseason heroics were the stuff of legend; in 36 1/3 innings, Strasburg pitched to a 1.98 ERA with a 47-to-4 K/BB ratio — including a gutsy 8 1/3-inning effort in a win-or-go-home Game 6 against the Astros in Houston. This is the Strasburg the Nats dreamed of when taking him first overall back in 2009. He’s now posted two six-plus WAR seasons in his past three years.”

At 31 years of age, a six-year deal for a pitcher whose fastball still lives in the mid-nineties is obviously a huge risk. However, Andrew Friedman and his crew are infamous for their creativity when it comes to structuring contracts like these. Indeed, a $30 million AAV sound like something to build around when it comes to making an offer.

With the Winter Meetings set to begin next week, it should be interesting to see if anything progresses with Strasburg in the near future, as least as far as his connections to the Dodgers go.


58 thoughts on “Dodgers Have Reportedly Been Talking with Stephen Strasburg

  1. That was a pretty interesting tweet by Nightengale, but Gausman? We’ve heard a few starting pitchers names come up connected to the dodgers, seems they may not be comfortable with kersh, Buehler, Maeda, and the young guys filling in the last two spots.

    1. I’m hoping that they would use Gausman as a reliever. His stuff would play well in that roll, but I’m not sure he’d be thrilled to be a bullpen guy at this stage of his career and I’m sure he’ll have other offers.

  2. Just checked the numbers at 538 and SBD. We are favorites to talk to everybody and sign none of them. I believe there is an outside chance. I put the odds at about the same as Jedd Gyorko’s Dodger batting average.

    1. It’s not me Keith. I’m just relating the numbers I’ve read.

      I think maybe the way the predictors look at is simply this: if it’s never been done before the odds are it won’t likely happen this time. What Friedman is good at is signing free agents most others aren’t really bidding on, players like Anderson, Kazmir, McCarthy. He’s M.I.T. trained, Moneyball Institute of Technology. The Leopards. They don’t change their spots. He cut his teeth in Tampa. M.I.T. guys gonna do what M.I.T. guys do.

    2. Keith, if you believe all the rumors and BS floating around the internet, I am really sorry for you man. All this crapola is instigated by the media, because until something does happen, they have nothing else to write about….take a reality pill, check the history, and you will realize OLAF is full of frijoles.

  3. I don’t know why people always say that there is draft pick compensation if they sign elsewhere, when in fact the original team would also lose a draft pick by resigning their own player. The draft pick they would have received if he signed elsewhere.

    1. Hey 59, nice to see you over here. I assume you’re the same guy who creates all kinds of havoc at LADT. I can’t argue with your logic. Point taken.

    2. I just read this:

      “Just as Hyun-Jin Ryu would make a lot of sense for the Dodgers if they fail to land Cole or Strasburg, there are several other teams he would be a nice backup plan for. Without draft pick compensation attached to him this time around, Ryu should garner plenty of interest from other clubs.”

      Personally I don’t think any team should be penalized for signing a free agent. Compensation for losing one, sure, but nothing for signing one. We’ve got a cap and revenue sharing. Teams are offered compensation to remain competitive. There is no need to punish anyone.

      1. Totally agree on penalizing a team for signing a free agent. It also penalizes the player because it basically makes him more expensive. I’ll bet that will be eliminated in the next CBA. Players will demand it and that will be one concession the owners will be willing to make.

    1. And another dreamer joins the fray. Oh, he will do something, and I would be the entire Dodger fan base will be scratching their heads and saying WTF???? Sure, they have talked to Strasburg and Rendon, no doubt they will kick the tires on Cole too. And they are willing to trade their high priced players? They only really have 3 that make most of the money, Kersh, JT and Jansen. With Ryu and Hill off of the books, the only other player with a long contract is Pollock. And he is making a little over 10 mil a year. That’s it. Maeda’s base salary is minuscule. More of the same talking out of the side of ones mouth we have come to expect from OLAF the OAF.

      1. I think Olaf did offer Greinke an extension, it was just beat by Arizona. So I’m thinking he will make offers on any and all free agents he wants here, but just as in the Greinke Games, he will not go the extra stoopid mile it takes to get those players. All he need do is look at what’s happening right in his own barn to see those last 2-3 years are damm risky. In fact all over the league you see teams burdened by anchor contracts on veterans well past their prime. Olaf don’t play like that. It remains to be seen if he can pull it off operating with this blueprint. So far, he’s 0fer 15. We should give him more time…. right?

      2. Oh, he has time, right up to the day spring training starts. That’s the rub. The Braves signed Hamels today. Other lesser free agents are signing elsewhere. Dodgers have pretty much done nothing yet, that is not to say OLAF won’t. I just happen to believe whatever he does will be less than earth shattering and impactful. Even the guys who are being mentioned so far in the Pederson to the Sox talks are not awe inspiring. Kelvin Herrera, and Alex Coleme. Sorry, I don’t trade a 30 homer bat no matter how bad he hits lefty’s for one of those guys. They have had talks with all the major players, Rendon, Strasburg, and Cole. Whether anything comes from all of that remains to be seen. Last year they were supposedly in the hunt for Harper right up to the time he signed with Philly. Angels sign a 30 year deal with the city of Anaheim, buy the stadium and land around it for 335 million. So the Halos are home for the next 30 years.

  4. Well bear if AF doesn’t make a big move this year then I’m jumping ship and joining the anti AF team! There’s a championship to be won this year if he just pulls the trigger on Cole, Strasburg or Rendon. And a couple of secondary moves. The money is there! No excuses!

    1. Don’t worry Cassidy, you’ll get your move or moves but that still doesn’t insure a championship. In a group of short playoff series anything can happen and usually does. But AF will do his thing and there will be some changes.

  5. I’d like to reach out to It Just Doesn’t Matter and apologize again. I thought your name WAS tied in some way to your feelings being expressed here. That is why I teased you the way I did. I meant no harm, I just misread it.

    1. That’s cool, I appreciate it. Really folks, it was just a damn screen name taken from one scene in an effin movie (Meatballs with Bill Murray). Take a deep breath everyone, before jumping to such a silly conclusion. Trust me, I will be making much more controversial statements in the future than “It Just Doesn’t Matter”. I’m a pretty straight shooter that deals with things pretty straight on, as you have witnessed. Trust me if I think someone needs to be checked, I’ll say it, you won’t have to guess what I am saying or meaning in my post. I’m not an asshole but cheapshots and snipers will always draw my fire instantly, rightly so.

      Hopefully this clears the air. Thanks for the apology, Scoop, let’s move on from here to a better place.

      Regarding the current topic, I will believe it when I see it. Friedman has played this game about making moves ever since he has arrived, he is consistent. I am still of the strong opinion that this team will never win a championship as long as AF is in control.I hope I am wrong but so far I have been batting 100% with this joker. Andy wants a movie or something written about him (just like his hero, Andy Beane in Oakland, which by the way, Beane has never won a ring either). AF has built the Los Angeles Braves so far.

      1. We’re good.

        Others have used the Beane script and won with it. Everyone is using saber metrics now to some degree. But none have done it without a strong mixture of their own home grown talent plus the right free agent signings. Olaf is swinging away using his own script., and with it we are in the proverbial “wait til next year” loop. It sucks to come up short, but, damm…. 7 straight Division Titles? There are a lot of fans out there that would love to see 1. I want to be grateful for what we have. I say I want to be. Why am I having trouble with that?

      2. Glad you guys have ironed things out. Those of us who comment on a regular basis always enjoy a strong opinion even if we don’t always agree. Actually, if I didn’t know better I’d say you were our friend Bear commenting under a different name. The two of you definitely seem to have very similar opinions on how AF runs the team.
        Can we officially put you on the “No” side in the informal contest we’re running here as to whether Olaf makes a major move this winter?

  6. I’m not a No, I’m a NO! And as far as me being Bear, I’m a Hell NO! (lol). I will only post under It Just Doesn’t Matter. Bear and mine posts just proves we are both highly intelligent people, lol.

    AF, is a slight of hand type of guy. He shows you one hand while you really need to be watching his other hand, where the activity or in-activity (in his case) is really going on. Andy’s main directive is to fill the bank account of the owners, which requires filling the seats and selling merch, way down on the list is winning a championship. I don’t see anything changing as long as 4 million fans are coming to the park, buying Dodger Dogs, buying gear, buying seats and parking passes all at ridiculous prices. Owners are content to just win at the gate and not in the WS.

    1. The problem with you and Bear is that you just don’t make your opinions clear. We never know where you stand on an issue. 🙂

  7. I’m mostly on board with this take It Just Doesn’t Matter. I would take issue with the “way down the list” comment. Winning is important to every GM. Their jobs are dependent on it. If Friedman had stepped in and f’d it up, he wouldn’t still be here after 5 years. But not only did he keep winning, he eventually got payroll where ownership wanted it. Making money? Check. Winning Division Titles? Check. Butts in seats? Check. Ownership has NO good reason to can this guy.

    Our roster every year is solid. We led the league in pitching and scoring. We led MLB in attendance. We won 106. And yes…. we coughed up another hair ball in the playoffs. Damn the bad luck!! Let’s do our yearly tweak and tee it up again.

    PS, It Just Doesn’t Matter takes too long to type. What shortened version, if any, are you ok with? JDM ok? By the way, I watched the Murray speech on YouTube. It doesn’t matter because all the girls will still go out with the Mohawk guys cuz THEY HAVE ALL THE MONEY!


  8. Well if AF doesn’t make a big move this winter with money available then you have to think that they are all about the gate and they’re not getting my money next year!

    1. Rich, do you think Rendon, 30 next June, is worth $40 million x 5? Gerrit Cole is 29 next September. He’s got over 1200 innings pitched already, after having started his ML career at age 22. Do you pay him $35 million a year until he’s older than Kershaw is now? Me? Yeah, sure, sign ‘em both. Not my money and I don’t intend to pay the inflated FCI that is sure to come so what do I care. But the question is….. what will Friedman do?

      I just read an update where some writer, Dan Federico, wrote “one person with knowledge says the odds are 80% Strasburg goes back to DC.” And the Yankees convinced another west coast guy, CC Sabathia, that NY was the place to be and they are talking with Cole.

      I hope we get 2 of them. I just don’t trust Olaf to pull it off.

  9. You guys that keep saying AF has never done anything major on the acquisition front, are forgetting the Darvish, and Machado dead line deals, they may not have worked out, but at the time Darvish was the top pitcher moved, and machado was also one of the top players available at the time. You guys should give him at least a little credit.

    Bear, I do believe the rumors that AF talked to the players in Nightengale’s tweet. AF is thorough in his job, he may not sign those players, but I’m sure he is at least meeting with them. I’m also sure that every free agent out there would like to meet with AF so the player can leak the meeting to the media, to stir up interest.

    1. Those moves weren’t free agent signings, they were trade deadline deals that frankly weren’t that costly.

      1. Isn’t the fact that they weren’t costly an incredibly good thing?

        Doesn’t the team want to acquire for as little as possible?

    2. Mid season trades have nothing to do with free agency. He has never traded for a star player in the off season. Darvish and Machado cost him low level prospects and one player on the MLB roster. None of those guys had a snowballs chance in hell of impacting the Dodgers. And frankly, Darvish was a bust, and Machado more of a distraction than a plus. Difference was when they traded for Machado, it was out of a desperate need to replace an all star SS. So there was one obvious option. He was very pedestrian as a Dodger. He helped some, and they were fighting for their playoff lives, pretty much hamstrung by injuries. OLAF has done salary dumps, multiplayer trades, and minor pickups. But a trade to bring in a star player, or a free agent signing that did the same? Never. The FO is about staying under the luxury tax. They are also about hosting the all star game this year and making the stadium more fan friendly, oh and by the way, we hope to be one of the best in the NL, but not at the cost of a 100 million dollar player. He has never given anyone a deal longer than 5 years, and Kershaw’s 93 million dollar extension is the most money they have paid. Keep dreaming Keith. The time is coming when you will realize that no matter how much money the Dodgers have, they are not buying caviar when they can have shrimp.

    1. Sure it is good they did not cost much. But neither were they that successful. Darvish won a total of 5 games as a Dodger. Machado hit .273 with 13 homers and 42 RBI’s in 60 something games. He hit under .200 in the playoffs and World Series. His BA as a Dodger was 42 points below what he was hitting in Baltimore. The Dodgers did not get a game changer in either case. They got middle of the road, average players.

      1. I don’t understand your thinking on the trades that didn’t work out. Darvish was considered the best pitcher available when we traded for him (although a few preferred Verlander) and Machado was a multi-time All Star shortstop in his prime. You’re correct that the trades didn’t turn out as well as hoped but are you holding that against Friedman? What if he signs Cole and Rendon and they both flame out. Will that be Friedman’s fault?

      2. It is always on the players Jefe, we all know that, and Friedman does not take all of the blame. He at least tried to do something. But, my point is and was that neither made the Dodger better. Both flamed out and crashed. You expect more from guys like that so when they do not perform, it is disappointing to the fans. Hill was as effective as Darvish when he came from the A’s once he got off of the DL. But you expect better when you trade for the guys who are the best available. Kolarek was better than advertised and did a good job as a Dodger, Negron performed better than expectations, but White and Gyorko, flamed out badly .

      3. I know that’s directed at Bear Jefe but I’d like to throw in my take here.

        Darvish was maybe considered the best on the market but what I remember is in several starts leading up to the deadline he was struggling badly. And Bear is right about The Smirk. He didn’t bring to LA what he had been selling in Baltimore. Not really that close. Darvish was a meh pickup. Machado was a jerk. Is all that on Friedman? I don’t know. But like McKazderson, it didn’t work out so well.

      4. Not disputing the results. My question is if the GM (or whatever title AF is using) trades for someone considered to be a star (Machado) and it doesn’t work out, do you blame the front office that made the trade? I don’t. I blame the player.

      5. Me too. It’s on the players. I thought Machado would be better, but he wasn’t and frankly I just didn’t like him. I HOPED Darvish would improve with the move, and he did, but not that much. I never liked McCarthy, Kazmir, or Anderson. Hill spent most of that first two months battling his blister issues. There are other moves that didn’t excite me but I give him credit where it’s due. He did not screw it up company. We are in the post season every year.

      6. Aside from Alvarez, he never really sacrificed anything significant. I’m beginning to wonder, though, that it may soon be time to make a significant sacrifice in order to acquire the big difference-maker. And I’m not just talking deadline deals.

      7. Yeah, I am reading all kinds of scenarios regarding the trading of our best prospects for stars. A package including Lux and Verdugo or Muncy, Gonsolin and Ruiz for Betts. Lux and Peters or Ruiz and Maeda for Hader. Heres a good one – Maeda, Lux, Pollock, Carrillo for Hader and Braun. A lot of creative ideas from the fans. Me? I don’t offer Lux, Verdugo or Ruiz. If someone comes at us with a controlled super star, like say Arenado, I listen, but I see years of controlled WAR in our prospects.

      8. Why would they trade 4 guys for a one year rental who has said many times he is going to test free agency? That makes absolutely no sense what so ever. There are some blurbs out there that they are still engaged with the 3 top free agents. If they signed one, preferably Rendon, I would be totally surprised. I see no way they can get 2 without going over the tax.

      9. If Betts is available, and I don’t know he is, there might be some team willing to do something crazy to give them what they view as a real shot in the playoffs, but in my view he is the same type player Machado was. This isn’t a deadline move, but it’s about 250 at bats from it. It makes no sense to give up 5 years of control over multiple players for 1 year of .900 OPS. That ain’t how Olaf rolls.

  10. I think Dennis is right, it’s time for AF to make a sacrifice in prospects or free agent money, to make a big move, that’s Jeff and my stance we think this is the season that he does it. Pulling you under the bus with me Jeff.
    Does this put Dennis in the “ yes “column?

      1. There are those who would maintain that the middle of the road is exactly where you would find Olaf. They think it’s time for him to move into the fast lane.

    1. Really interesting view from down here under the bus Keith. Look over there, I think we need to replace the muffler.

  11. Angels just traded for Dylan Bundy. They sent 4 minor league pitchers to the Orioles. New stadium lease completed also. Actually they bought the stadium. 335 million bucks and some land around it that they intend to develop.

      1. If he does a good job they’re going to rename the stadium after him.
        Imagine playing for a team whose home field is Shpunt Stadium
        McCourt and Shpunt – The Glory Days
        Dennis, I think you should take up a collection to get him a couple more vowels for his name.

      2. Don’t laugh. He still gets money from the Dodgers for their parking. I forget how long it is supposed to be for, but I think it was something like 10 years.

  12. He doesn’t get any money from the parking, he has a percentage of ownership if the parking lot is ever developed in some way, like housing or commercial.

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