2.) Will Stephen Strasburg be traded?
There have been rumors swirling around the former top pick each of the past two offseasons. This could finally be the year Washington pulls the trigger and deals Strasburg away. The tall right-hander is entering his final year of arbitration, and with Scott Boras representing him, is not an extension candidate. Strasburg was injured for parts of last season, but turned in the best second half of his career. Arguably, only Clayton Kershaw and Jake Arrieta were better than Strasburg down the stretch. He did outpitch Zack Greinke after the All-Star break.
This one could go either way. There are so many red flags in Strasburg’s medical file that it is difficult to envision the Nationals wanting to commit to re-signing him next offseason to a five- or six-year contract. If you trade him now, however, finding a replacement will be difficult. Lucas Giolito is a year away. Filling a Strasburg-sized hole in the rotation will be difficult, and could keep the Nationals from returning to the playoffs next season. If the Nationals decide to hold onto Strasburg and evaluate their chances at the trade deadline, there’s a more than slim chance the pitcher is injured. Best case scenario for the Nationals — the front office holds onto Strasburg all season, the team reaches the World Series, and everyone walks away from the seven-year relationship happy.