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Nationals Notes: Jayson Werth defers $10M? Opt-outs in Stephen Strasburg extension's Ken Rosenthal had two interesting notes in his latest story. One dealt with Jayson Werth reportedly deferring money from this year's salary. Rosenthal also wrote about the opt-outs which were part of Stephen Strasburg's extension.

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Two interesting tidbits from's Ken Rosenthal's post this morning:

The first has to do with Jayson Werth's contract.

Rosenthal writes that according to a copy of his contract, "recently obtained by FOX Sports," Werth, "amended his deal last Oct. 15 to defer $10M of his 2016 salary at 5 percent simple interest," and the, "... money, according to a source, will be paid in 2018."

As Rosenthal speculates, the change to Werth's 7-year/$126M deal, which pays him $21M this season and next season, "... presumably, was [made] to keep the club in a position of financial flexibility."

Rosenthal notes that he had previously written that Werth's salary for this season restricted the Nationals' ability to sign free agent outfielders like Yoenis Cespedes and Jason Heyward this winter, but the bow-tied reporter acknowledged in this latest article that he, "... did not have all the facts at the time."

"It was part of the negotiation and this is the first one I've ever done. It seems to be the en vogue kind of ingredient to get a long-term deal with really good players." -Mike Rizzo on including two opt-outs in Stephen Strasburg's extension

Elsewhere in the article, Rosenthal writes about the reasoning or "hidden logic" behind the inclusion of the two opt-outs that were part of Stephen Strasburg's 7-year/$175M extension, which was announced last week.

"If you're wondering why agent Scott Boras 'settled' for a seven-year, $175 million extension for Nationals' right-hander Stephen Strasburg, just follow the opt-outs," Rosenthal wrote.

The opt-outs, after years three or four of the deal, he writes, "provide added value, creating the potential for an even bigger prize."

The first opt-out would allow Strasburg to become a free agent at 31, at which point he could, "presumably... have a more established track record, assuming he stays healthy.":

"Even better, Strasburg would hit the market soon after Clayton Kershaw, Jake Arrieta and Jose Fernandez are likely to establish new ceilings for starting pitchers in the coming free-agent years."

By the time those three have signed, Rosenthal suggests, "... the highest average salary for a starter will increase from Zack Greinke's current $34.4 million to beyond $40 million."

Will some team out there be willing to sign Strasburg, who had Tommy John surgery in 2010, to another long-term deal, Rosenthal asks?

"Remains to be seen," he writes, "but for Strasburg the gamble was certainly worth taking -- particularly when he already is guaranteed $175 million."

Boras, when he spoke to reporters after the press conference officially announcing Strasburg's extension, talked about why he wanted the opt-outs included in the deal.

"He's healthy and he's going to have the same right that Max [Scherzer] or David Price or Greinke or [Matt] Harvey or Arrieta or [Gerrit] Cole all these guys have at 30 or 31, they're going to have that right to look into the free agent world.

"The other thing is we have the economics of the game, which are dramatically changing, so to have him have the ability to look at that not only in one year but in two was a very important part of that contract."

Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo was asked why he decided to include the opt-outs, since it was the first time he'd done so.

"Why do that?" Rizzo asked rhetorically. "Because they wanted it. It was part of the negotiation and this is the first one I've ever done. It seems to be the en vogue kind of ingredient to get a long-term deal with really good players. So we agreed to it and I think the contract is structured as such that it's to the benefit of both parties."