Nats agree to terms with Stephen Strasburg, avoiding arbitration

The Nationals announced tonight that they've agreed to terms with right-hander Stephen Strasburg, avoiding arbitration.

It's a one-year deal for Strasburg, which really just serves as a procedural move. The 25-year-old is under team control through the 2016 season, but through the arbitration process, his yearly salaries over the remainder of his deal will be negotiated between his agent and the Nats, with a hearing with an arbiter looming if the two sides cannot settle on terms.

Strasburg will receive $3.975 million this season with a chance to earn more with incentives, a source familiar with the terms of the deal confirmed, which is a slight raise from the $3.9 million he earned in 2013.

The righty went 8-9 with a 3.00 ERA last season, his first full year since coming back from Tommy John surgery. He made 30 starts, threw a career-high 182 innings and put up 191 strikeouts and a 1.049 WHIP. His 9.393 strikeouts per nine innings ranked fourth in the National League.

Strasburg had surgery to remove bone chips from his throwing elbow back in October, but the Nationals say that he's recovering well and is expected to be full-go come spring training.

With this deal, the Nats now have eight arbitration-eligible players still without a contract for the 2014 season: Jordan Zimmermann, Ian Desmond, Doug Fister, Tyler Clippard, Drew Storen, Ross Detwiler, Wilson Ramos and Jerry Blevins.

The Nats and each player's representative must exchange salary figures by Jan. 17, and the two sides then negotiate from there and try and find some middle ground. If they can't reach a deal by the Feb. 1 deadline, they'll go to arbitration.

Right-hander Ross Ohlendorf, who had also been eligible for arbitration, signed a one-year, $1.25 million deal with incentives back in December.

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