By Sam Bush

The Nats have sent a message to the Phillies and the rest of the NL East about Stephen Strasburg.

Strasburg and the Nationals have reached agreement on a seven-year, $245 million deal, ESPN is reporting.

Strasburg, who opted out of the final four years of his contract with the Nationals, entered free agency fresh off a regular season in which he posted a career-high 18 wins and led the National League with 209 innings pitched — no small measure for a pitcher who has battled injuries throughout his career.

He continued rolling in the playoffs. He became the first pitcher in major league history to win five games in a single postseason without a loss, his 47 strikeouts were tied for the second-most in a single postseason (Curt Schilling had 56 in 2001), and he posted a 1.98 ERA in six appearances overall.

The 31-year-old right-hander won two games against the Houston Astros in the World Series, including a pivotal Game 6 on the road in which he became the first starter to go at least eight innings in a World Series since Matt Harvey did so in Game 5 in 2015. The following night, Washington won Game 7 and Strasburg became the first No. 1 overall draft pick to be named World Series MVP.


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