The Washington Nationals and Stephen Strasburg reached an agreement on a one-year deal to avoid arbitration Friday. The ace will earn more than $7 million in 2015.

The team confirmed a deal was in place:

William Ladson of provided the details:

Strasburg was never in danger of leaving the nation’s capital, of course. Avoiding the arbitration process, which can often create some tension, by inking a new deal is usually preferred. It also helps build some faith between the sides for when more serious contract talks arise in the future.

The 26-year-old right-hander is coming off a season in which he went 14-11 with a 3.14 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP in 34 starts, a new career high. He continued to showcase his overwhelming combination of pitches by striking out 242 batters in 215 innings.

His ERA was rather mundane in an era that’s shifting back toward the pitchers. He ranked 16th out of 43 qualified pitchers in the National League, but the advanced stats paint a more positive picture, as his xFIP (2.56) was third-best among MLB starters, according to FanGraphs.

All told, Strasburg remains an anchor for the Nationals. They are the clear favorites in the National League East and are one of the top World Series contenders heading into the 2015 campaign. That’s especially true if he can stay healthy and start 30-plus games once again.


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