Now that the Nationals have decided to spurn the rest of baseball by signing Maxwell Scherzer, the national attention has swung around to the discussion of, "What is Washington going to do with all of their assets?" Because America is nothing if not a nation built on the notion of the redistribution of wealth.
Kansas City may be in a unique position, in that they may very well be able to put together a package for the right-handed Strasburg that doesn't have every member of the Basement Brigade rolling their eyes as we check our spreadsheets for supporting data. Whether or not they would be willing to make such a trade is immaterial, because what is the internet if not speculation?
Pornography, mostly. But I digress.
2015 will be Strasburg's Age 26 season. He is in his second-to-last year of arbitration eligibility, meaning that he eligible for free agency following the 2016 season. So, two years of definitive control is what you are looking at, with the possibility of signing him to a long-term deal. If you want to be generous and say that he would sign a five-year extension, you would have him locked up from age 26 to 32. That is a point in his favor.
Other points in his favor are that he is really good. Since 2011, his ERA is 3.03, good for ninth in all of baseball (min. 500 innings). He has averaged 3.9 fWAR over the last three seasons. His career K/9 is 10.34. Though he was sidelined by Tommy John surgery early in his career, he has made thirty starts and thrown at least 180 innings each of the last two years.
Given all of that, what would it take to acquire him?
A lot, probably. Well, not probably. It would definitely take a lot. From a prospect-only position, you are starting with Sean Manea and Kyle Zimmer, then figuring out what else you are going to have to give up in addition to those two. One of Kelvin Herrera/Wade Davis/Greg Holland would be involved. A Choose Your Own Adeventure of Christian Binford, Miguel Almonte, or Jorge Bonifacio, combined with a lottery ticket like Chase Vallot or Ryan O'Hearn would round out the deal. Maybe Washington throws in a relief prospect to balance things out, or a toolsy utility guy.
So, the breakdown would be something like:
RHP Stephen Strasburg
LHP Felipe Rivero
LHP Sean Manaea
RHP Kyle Zimmer
RHP Kelvin Herrera
OF Jorge Bonifacio
C Chase Vallot