Option 4: Trade Stephen Strasburg
It’s odd, although not altogether unfathomable, that Strasburg has been mentioned in the trade rumors. Strasburg has quietly been excellent for the Nationals over the last three seasons, and he only stands to get better. However, he’s 26, and being a free agent after the 2016 season, he’ll be heading into his age-29 season. Which means the Nats would be paying for most, if not all of his prime years. After all, didn’t they just give a big seven-year contract to some guy who’s 30 already? Besides, contract prices will more than likely balloon quite a bit by the time the end of 2016 rolls around. With extensions for guys like Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon on the horizon, maybe the Nationals are just trying to not handcuff themselves too much down the road. That doesn’t mean they have to start making calls now though. They could easily ride 2015 out and then talk about trading Strasburg in his impending free agent season, like they’re doing with Zimmerman right now. On the flip side, Strasburg would most likely bring back a bigger load if traded than Zimmerman would, and as those spots in center field and at second base aren’t going to fix themselves. There may be more suitors for Strasburg if he’s on the market now too, given that extra year of control, and teams not having only one year to wow him as they would with Zimmerman.
Potential Suitors: Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, Milwaukee Brewers, Texas Rangers, St. Louis Cardinals