It appears Stephen Strasburg won't be going home after all.
Strasburg's agent, Scott Boras, has apparently set the starting point for the World Series MVP at six years and between $30 million to $34 million annually. While the Padres are open to increasing payroll through free agency, Boras' demands are too high from both a term and dollar perspective, Acee adds.
After signing Manny Machado to a $300-million contract last year, the Padres are once again expected to try to make a splash this winter. As both a star pitcher and native of San Diego who played for club icon Tony Gwynn at San Diego State, Strasburg seemed to fit what the team is looking for.
The Padres' interest in the 31-year-old was first reported shortly after he opted out of his contract with the Washington Nationals.
This means the Padres are also likely out of the running for AL Cy Young finalist Gerrit Cole, another California native. Boras' starting point in Cole's negotiations is thought to be the ceiling for Strasburg, according to Acee.
Although it's now unlikely they'll land one of the big prizes, the Padres are still expected to be one of the more active teams this offseason. They're one of several teams said to be showing interest in free-agent right-hander Zack Wheeler, and Acee reported on Monday that general manager A.J. Preller is willing to trade from the team's deep farm system in order to upgrade the major-league roster.
San Diego's payroll currently sits at slightly above $117 million, according to Spotrac, and could come in at around $120 million when including arbitration projections. Three of its players - Machado, Eric Hosmer, and Wil Myers - will earn over $21 million next season.