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Stephen Strasburg isn't interested in an extension with the Nationals

Tuesday's Say Hey, Baseball includes Stephen Strasburg's path to free agency, the Alex Anthopoulos saga and Johnny Cueto's birthday.

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Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

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Stephen Strasburg's 2015 started rough, but after missing most of July with neck tightness, then coming back in August, he was fantastic. Over his final 10 starts, his ERA dropped from 5.16 to 3.46 thanks to a 66-inning run with 92 strikeouts, just eight walks and a 1.90 ERA. Now, he's making $10.4 million in his final season before free agency, poised to earn the largest contract of anyone in next winter's market. So, no, he's not interested in an extension with the Nationals: Strasburg is very likely reaching free agency.

Scott Boras said the two sides aren't in talks, and that they already agreed to a 2016 deal to avoid arbitration. "It's something we'll be discussing at the end of the year" means during free agency -- so, it's not like Strasburg is automatically bound for another destination. It's just that he's planning on signing after giving himself the chance for a full season of the kind of dominance everyone has expected out of him since he was first drafted in 2009.

Don't read that as if Strasburg hasn't accomplished anything, either, as he has. He owns a 126 ERA+ and has struck out well over 10 batters per nine innings in his six seasons, and while he hasn't quite taken that next-level step to acedom, he's also still only 27 years old, and he's shown flashes of doing better than that. If he manages the best year of his career -- a distinct possibility if the second half of 2015 was any indication -- he's going to get paid as a premier free agent in a weak market.

  • Matt Harvey is reportedly more open to the idea of an extension, but he's also further away from free agency than Strasburg is, and arbitration wasn't exactly kind to him this winter as a first timer who missed a year thanks to Tommy John.

  • White Sox prospect Tim Anderson was taking video of his batting practice on his phone, at least until he nailed it with a line drive.


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  • The Brewers are discussing moving Ryan Braun back to left field with Khris Davis now on the A's.

  • Even with the aforementioned Davis in Oakland, Mark Canha is going to get his plate appearances.

  • The Blue Jays' offseason went well, except for the whole Alex Anthopoulos thing.

  • The Orioles are likely going to sign Yovani Gallardo, but that might not be such a bad thing. Especially not if you look at the rest of the rotation.

  • The Washington Post ran a feature on the rise of FanGraphs, if you're into that sort of thing.

  • Dan Szymborski released a top-100 prospect list built from his projection system, ZiPS. It's fascinating that so many of the prospects rank similarly to where they did on ESPN's other top-100, from Keith Law. It is -- let's go with "odd" -- that a universal top-10 prospect like Yoan Moncada comes in at 63 on the ZiPS' list, though. That's going to happen when scouts aren't involved, but that doesn't stop this from being an intriguing exercise.

  • Johnny Cueto was very excited about his birthday and shared as much on his Instagram.