Late Monday evening, news leaked that Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals had agreed to a seven-year contract extension worth $175 million. The next day, Chris Cotillo broke down what this means from Strasburg, the Nationals, and the impending free agent market which was already pretty weak. Missing in everyone's analysis is that the Nationals have also shown a huge commitment to their concession stand, as the Strasburger is now one of the more lucrative edible marketing adventures.
Strasburg is now the owner of the seventh-most lucrative pitching contract ever handed out. Although the commitment is the same as Felix Hernandez's, the tie break goes to the first player that got it based on inflation. Let's take a look at who rounds out the top-10:
Greinke and Price are off to bad starts with their new teams, but they will likely straighten it out. By average annual value, they are ranked first and second on this list respectively.
Widely regarded as a disappointing deal, Verlander's has actually still presented a slight bargain for the Detroit Tigers. From 2013-2015, the Tigers paid Verlander just over $77 million for about $80.5 million worth of production by FanGraphs $/WAR estimations.
Kershaw has been on another planet, figuratively of course. Since signing his deal, he has produced $146.5 million of value for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Going by average annual value, Kershaw produced $68.5 million in surplus value from 2014-2015. Only 53 innings into the 2016 season, and Kershaw has already produced nearly 63 percent of his contract value.
Only one season removed from inking his deal with the Nationals, Scherzer has also produced quite a bit of surplus value. Getting paid $30 million in average annual value, Scherzer produced just over $51 million in value. It's the later years that Nationals fans may still worry about, but surplus value now is a step in the right direction.
Perhaps the most comparable is Hernandez's however. It's the same term and dollar amount and he was the same age as Strasburg is now when it was originally signed. Despite a down year last season, Hernandez's contract has worked out very well so far for the Seattle Mariners.