LA Angels: Stephen Strasburg Is Under-The-Radar Ace the Halos Need
By Vincent Page
Every fan of the LA Angels has the same top target going into free agency this winter. However, Gerrit Cole might not be the only solidified ace on the market.
The LA Angels lost out big time in free agency last year. They failed in signing a big time pitcher, and this year they’ll look to bounce back. Gerrit Cole is obviously the top option, but there’s one other player who may or may not be a free agent, but is just as enticing.
Stephen Strasburg has been one of the most consistent pitchers in the MLB during his career. He has never had an ERA above 3.74, and has been astonishingly healthy as well. The Washington Nationals resigned him while watching Bryce Harper walk, which was easily the right decision.
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That is, unless, Strasburg opts to test the free agency market this winter. At 31-years old, he may see this offseason as his last chance to earn a big payday. We’ve seen in recent years that players over 31 have found some timidness from MLB teams offering long term deals.
Strasburg is set to make $60 million over the next four years of his deal with the Nationals. The free agent market will be starved for starters this winter, meaning Strasburg could easily earn more than an average annual value of $15 million.
While there’s no reports saying whether he will or will not opt out of his current contract, it makes too much sense financially for Strasburg to get a new deal this offseason. Even if that’s just to renegotiate with the Nationals on a deal, if Strasburg cares about making his money, he’ll opt out of his deal as soon as he can.
Now, obviously Strasburg opting out doesn’t mean the Angels will sign him. Obviously their top target will still be Cole, but Strasburg being on the market will give them some sort of leeway and insurance.
Before you get too into the idea of both of them signing with the Halos, I wouldn’t start dreaming yet. Cole is likely to become the highest paid pitcher of all time, and will cost somewhere between 30-35 million dollars annually. Should Strasburg opt out, he’ll likely look to be paid in the 20-25 million dollar range.
Even if they both end up being paid on the lower end of things, the Angels will only have about $40-45 million to spend this offseason. Obviously salary can be cut down, but at this moment it would take a miracle from Billy Eppler to pull that one off.
I’m not here to tell you Strasburg would be a better signing than Cole. However, a lot of Halo fans seem to think it’s Gerrit Cole or bust this offseason. If Strasburg opts out, the Angels will have one of the most underrated pitchers in the history of the MLB on the free agent market, and will very well make a run at him.