Had Stephen Strasburg waited another day, he would have topped the list of MLB‘s best players entering free agency this offseason.

The Washington Nationals ace had all the ingredients necessary to secure a massive payday. Since last year’s All-Star break, the former No. 1 overall pick boasts a 2.26 ERA and 150 strikeouts over 115.1 innings. This is the guy whose MLB arrival was more hyped than any baseball player in recent memory until Bryce Harper joined him in D.C.

Sweetening the pot, a bidding war would have spawned over the 27-year-old’s peak years in a free-agent class without any solid alternatives. Knowing agent Scott Boras’ ruthless reputation, he would have scratched and clawed for every dollar.

All these factors considered, it came as a surprise when CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman broke the news on Monday night: Strasburg and the Nationals agreed to a seven-year, $175 million extension. The premature signing made more sense when Heyman disclosed an opt-out clause after the third and fourth years, giving the righty long-term stability and the opportunity to earn another monster deal.

If that seems like a lot for someone who once underwent Tommy John surgery, this article was set to project seven years for $225 million. Even that felt like selling his potential earnings short.

Any team needing a rotation boost must test the trading market or wait until 2017-18’s monster free-agent class. As for this winter, a shallow crop led by power sluggers and relief pitchers stand to benefit from the downgraded competition.

Here are the biggest remaining upcoming free agents in line for big paydays.

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