Nationals Option Strasburg To Double-A

The Nationals have optioned 2009 first overall pick Stephen Strasburg to Double-A Harrisburg according to a team press release. He performed as expected in Spring Training, striking out 12 and allowing just two runs in nine innings pitched.

Strasburg would have to remain in the minors for approximately two weeks to have his free agency pushed back one year, and about two months to push his arbitration years back. His salaries are already set for the next three years by the Major League contract he signed out of the draft, so in 2013 the Nats would not be able to offer him less than 80% of the $3MM he will earn in 2012, even if he is still in his pre-arbitration years.

ESPN's Keith Law has also mentioned that the Nationals could be helping out their minor league affiliates, as a Strasburg start would surely drive up attendance. 


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34 Comments on "Nationals Option Strasburg To Double-A"


Member
Pseudonymus Bosch
5 years 3 months ago

It’s also worth pointing out that time in the minors could, you know, help Strasburg himself.

He’s expected to work on adjusting to a five-day pitching schedule rather than seven-days, hone his pitch selection and control, and get practice controlling baserunners.

Member
Pseudonymus Bosch
5 years 3 months ago

Also worth pointing out: Strasburg needs to work on not serving up home runs. In a single Arizona Fall League game he surrendered three homers, and in yesterday’s spring training start he allowed two solo dingers before striking out like the next 6 guys.

Member
dickylarue
5 years 3 months ago

Keith Law is a moron. The Nats aren’t doing this to help out their minor league affiliates attendance. They are doing this to delay his free agency clock.

I would say they were doing this to delay his arb clock, but I don’t think the media and Nats fans will let him sit in AA for 2 months without tearing the building down.

The guy belongs in the majors. End of story. It’s reprehensible that teams get away with this kind of salary game nonsense and that their fans have to pay for tickets knowing they are intentionally not putting the best team on the field.

Member
Pseudonymus Bosch
5 years 3 months ago

Putting him in the majors is a TERRIBLE baseball move. Would you rather have an extra three weeks of Strasburg, or an extra *year* of Strasburg? If you’re saying you’d rather have three weeks of the guy now than an extra year of him later, that’s senseless.

Yes, he is the best pitcher the Nationals have including their major league team, but he does have issues to work out and he does need to adjust to the workload of professional baseball and the smarts of professional hitters.

Member
5 years 3 months ago

Solid point. See David Clyde.

Member
dickylarue
5 years 3 months ago

Looking at the Nats roster, he should be up in that rotation now. I understand the whole “clock” issue, but when you’re a team that barren of pitching talent, intentionally holding back one of your best starters isn’t fair to your paying customers or the rest of the team.

The guy is ready for the majors. Mowing down AA hitters under the eye of a minor league pitching coach isn’t going to speed up the development process. He needs to come up to the majors and take his lumps now and learn his lessons at the highest level so he’s ready to dominate sooner. His stuff is big league quality.

I’m not a Nats fan. I’m a baseball fan and I’m looking for some reason to tune in to a Nats game on MLB Extra Innings once in a blue moon. Strasburg would cause me to tune in.

Member
ReverendBlack
5 years 3 months ago

(1) Not fair to the customers? What?

(2) Even if it’s true that he’d develop faster in the Bigs (doubt it), no one needs him to develop that fast. Letting him take the time in the minors gives the Nationals an extra year of him well AFTER he’s developed. Bringing him up now — EVEN IF he dominated (doubt it) — serves no purpose. The Nationals will be out of contention either way.

(3) As for “sell tickets now”: lol. He’ll sell at least as many AFTER he’s mowed down minor leaguers for a couple of months. And he’ll sell a lot more over the next six years when he’s the Ace of a Nationals team that can hopefully be in a position to contend.

Member
ivdown
5 years 3 months ago

Are you serious right now? This team wont win 80 games with or without him this season. So why A. Rush him and B. make it so you have to pay him millions more in a few years? He should be given time in the minors to adjust, no matter how good he is.

Guest
5 years 3 months ago

From what I’ve seen he is not ready for the majors. He needs time to develop. Do you remember a guy named Mark Prior, ya he was rushed and howd that end up for him.

Member
Zack23
5 years 3 months ago

Drafted in 2001, 9 minor league starts in 2002, then.
02: 19 starts, 116 IP, 147 K, 3.33 ERA
03: 30 starts, 211 IP, 245 K, 2.43 ERA
Worked out pretty well; he was already developed. Time in the minors wasnt going to save him from Dusty constantly leaving him out there for 120+ pitches.

The next 2 years he injured his achillis tendon, got a compression fracture in his elbow due to a line drive, and then had his shoulder issues.

Member
RedbirdFan18
5 years 3 months ago

I completely agree with Zack. Prior being rushed had no effect on him. He was good when he came up. It was two years later, after two season of Baker letting him get up to 100 plus pitchers every freaking start that effected him. He got the shoulder issue, which screwed him over.

Member
$1529282
5 years 3 months ago

How do you know he belongs in the Majors? Because of what he did in college? He’s been far from perfect in his small sample against MLB hitting. No one should jump right out of college and into the Majors. Strasburg will benefit tremendously from having at least a handful (4-12) of minor league starts.

Member
ivdown
5 years 3 months ago

It would be irresponsible to bring him up right away to the Majors. Give him time in the minors to face pro competition more than just the AFL and spring training. And you act like trying to save money by waiting a whole 2 months is a bad thing. Look at what Lincecum is doing in SF, do you think the Nats want to pay Strasburg 11 million in his first arbitration year (which could be his 2nd year, though I’m not sure because this article said he is already said to be making 3 mill in his 3rd year)? Pushing him back two months gives him confidence if he can dominate AA hitters and saves the teams millions of dollars. It works out perfectly.

Member
ReverendBlack
5 years 3 months ago

The fans have to pay for tickets?

Guest
5 years 3 months ago

Reprehensible? So the fact that the money they’re saving in the long run might go towards another player who could put them over the top doesn’t matter? The extra seasoning he gets in the minors could help him be a better player in the majors. Plus pushing free agency back a year means they get him longer, when he’s likely to be at his peak professional. Frankly I’d be pissed if my team had a guy like Strasburg and didn’t start him out in the minors. There are so many advantages to doing it this way and almost no benefit to starting him out in the majors.

Member
sjberke1
5 years 3 months ago

“I don’t think the media and Nats fans will let him sit in AA for 2 months without tearing the building down.”

That might be true in New York or Boston or Chicago or Cincinnati–but Washington is not a baseball town, and there will be other stories–the Capitals in the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Redskins draft (yes because Washington is a football town). Believe me, the limited local sportstalk shows barely acknowledge the Nats exist; it’s not like having Mad Dog Russo on the case.

Member
Queef Law
5 years 3 months ago

how do you include cincinnati in the same breath as boston new york and chicago and not include st. louis? Just wondering..

Member
Ferrariman
5 years 3 months ago

they made the right choice. his pitching stuff is their but you always gotta work on the other small things like bunting and hold runners. He won’t be their for long.

Member
NYBravosFan10
5 years 3 months ago

No kid right out of college is ready for the big time. I don’t care how well he pitches in spring training. This is a smart move by the Nationals because it will help them financially and make sure this guy gets all the honing he needs to one day (probably this season) become this teams ace for a long time. It’s also cool that I live near Binghamton and go to alot of B-Mets games and the Harrisburg Senators play there sometimes.