Stephen Strasburg's going to be sticking around for a while, and what a pleasant surprise that is.
I figured the combination of Scott Boras' advice and the Nationals' organizational whateverness when it came to Strasburg meant he was bound to go the way of the Zimmermann, but maybe the organization wasn't as whatevery as I thought.
I was influenced by the fact that the fans all seem to hate him. I get it, I guess. He's never been as good as we all hoped, and I suppose he comes off kind wienerish. But it's nice that the team is run by people smarter than those cheering for it.
It's more puzzling from the Strasburg/Boras end. Boras is infamous for making sure his clients see free agency. Why does he do this? As bank robber Willie Sutton allegedly but probably didn't say when asked why he robbed banks, "That's where the money is."
What changed this time? For the answer to this question, we go to another fake quotation: I assume that at some point in the 1970s Tommy John said, "My arm hurts." Then he had his eponymous surgery, which we've learned can extend the careers but dampen the earning potential of major league pitchers.
That's my guess. You can feel free to chalk it up to Strasburg's fondness for the organization or the area or even you personally, but I'm going with the idea that unconventional placement of his ligaments makes him less inclined to gamble on free agency. All that deferred money that wasn't good enough for Jason Heyward or Yoenis Cespedes looks greener when you've got a time bomb in your arm.
I'm a fan of the extension (it ain't my money), and I especially like how it widens the Nats competitive window. When Max Scherzer signed on, I figured we had two years, and I based that on the assumption that Strasburg wasn't sticking around any longer than he had to. You can see why I was so upset when Year One was ruined by the Three Stooges.
I'm still upset by that, but now we have extra years. Stephen Strasburg is going to be our #2 starter for at least three more years, and all our foes envy our good fortune.