World Series Most Valuable Player Stephen Strasburg has opted out of the final four years and $100 million of his contract with the Washington Nationals, multiple outlets reported.
The 31-year-old right-hander is coming off a brilliant postseason, finishing 5-0 with a 1.98 ERA and 47 strikeouts against four walks in 36 1/3 innings.
Strasburg just completed the third season of a seven-year, $175 million contract signed in May 2016. Agent Scott Boras has been known to encourage his clients to strike when they have the leverage.
Earlier this week, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said he didn't know how things would play out.
"I'm not sure. We haven't spoken at all about it," Rizzo said regarding whether Strasburg will opt out. "We did not want to speak about it. I haven't spoken to his agent about it. We'll certainly be communicating diligently over the next couple of days, seeing what he's going to do."
Strasburg was 18-6 with a 3.32 ERA and 251 strikeouts in 209 innings in 2019, leading the NL in wins and innings. The three-time All-Star is 112-58 with a 3.17 ERA and 1,695 strikeouts in 239 starts with the Nationals since 2010. They made him the top overall pick in the 2009 draft.
There was more roster news out of the nation's capital Saturday, just three days after the Nationals defeated the Houston Astros, 6-2, in Game 7 to win their first World Series.
According to MLB Network's Mark Feinsand, Washington picked up the 2020 options for left-handed reliever Sean Doolittle ($6.5 million) and outfielder Adam Eaton ($9.5 million), but declined the options for first baseman Ryan Zimmerman ($18 million) and catcher Yan Gomes ($9 million).
Doolittle, 33, went 6-5 with 29 saves and a 4.05 ERA in 63 games in 2019.
Eaton, 30, hit .279 with a career-high 15 homers and 49 RBIs in 151 games this season, his third year in Washington.
Zimmerman, 35, is the Nationals' longest-tenured player and the franchise's career leader in hits, doubles, homers and RBIs. Limited to 52 games in 2019, he batted .257 with six homers and 27 RBIs.
Gomes, 32, batted .223 with 12 homers and 43 RBIs in 97 games in his first season in Washington. The 2018 All-Star spent the previous six seasons with the Cleveland Indians.
Chapman extends deal with Yanks
Rather than opting out of his contract with two years remaining, New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman has signed an extension that will keep him in pinstripes through the 2022 season, several media outlets reported early Sunday.
Chapman was due to make $30 million over the next two seasons unless he exercised an opt-out clause in his contract, which he had until midnight Sunday to do. Instead, the added year is worth another $18 million, ESPN and the New York Post reported, citing sources.
In a tweet, Chapman said, "New York, I told you I wasn't going anywhere!"
Previous reports indicated that while Chapman might exercise his opt-out clause, he wanted to remain with the Yankees.
Chapman, a six-time All-Star who entered the majors in 2010 with a fastball that topped 100 mph, has 273 saves in 10 seasons, six with Cincinnati and four with the Yankees, except for 28 games in 2016 when the Yankees traded him to the Chicago Cubs.
After the Cubs won the World Series that season, Chapman returned to the Yankees as a free agent before the 2017 season.
The left-hander is 33-26 with 2.23 ERA across 550 games. In 32 postseason games, Chapman is 2-3 with nine saves and a 2.45 ERA.
This year, Chapman appeared in five postseason games as the Yankees advanced to the American League Championship Series. He took the loss in Game 7 of that series when he allowed a two-run homer to Jose Altuve in the bottom of the ninth in the Astros' 6-4 win to clinch a World Series berth.