- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 2, 2019

Washington Nationals ace and World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg has decided to opt out of his contract and become a free agent this winter, ESPN and others reported Saturday night.

Saturday — the day of the Nationals’ World Series parade in the District — was the deadline for Strasburg to choose whether he would opt out three years into a seven-year, $175 million contract extension.

Strasburg, 31, just turned in one of the most dominant playoff pitching performances of all time. He became the first pitcher to finish an MLB postseason 5-0. That included two wins during the World Series, including Game 6 when he pitched 8 1/3 innings with two earned runs.

He led the National League with 209 innings pitched in the regular season and went 18-6 with a 3.32 ERA and 251 strikeouts.

The timing is right for Strasburg to maximize his earning potential. That doesn’t mean that he won’t return to the Nationals, with whom the former No. 1 overall draft pick has spent his entire career.

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