Stephen Strasburg retires after years of injury struggles and months-long standoff with the Nationals

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Stephen Strasburg had already finished pitching for the Nationals, but is now retired.  (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Stephen Strasburg is calling it a career. This time for real.

The Washington Nationals’ longtime starting pitcher is retiring after a years-long struggle to pitch again due to injuries. The news was first reported by The Washington Post and MASN’s Mark Zuckerman. MLB’s transaction logs also show Strasburg has retired.

strasburg sw issued a statement On Sunday morning he announced his decision to hang up his gloves and cleats.

Today, I am announcing my retirement from my favorite sport. After repeated attempts to return to pitching I realized that injuries no longer allowed me to perform at the Major League level.

As a little kid, I only dreamed of winning the World Series. Thanks to many coaches, teammates, and medical staff, my childhood dream came true in 2019. Despite this being my personal goal, I realized how important and special that moment was to so many fans at the DMV. , Your unwavering support through all the ups and downs will always mean a lot to me.

I would also like to thank the late Ted Lerner and family for giving me the opportunity to wear the Curly W all these years. Although I will always want to play more games, I take solace in knowing that I left everything for the only team I know. My family and I are really lucky and privileged to have this baseball trip experience in the nation’s capital.

As always, go nuts! #37
stephen strasburg

Nationalist Strasburg’s retirement has also been announced, which is significant given the false start in August. Strasburg was initially reported by the Post to be calling it a career last summer, with plans for a press conference at Nationals Park in September, but those plans were quietly canceled at the last minute.

It soon became clear that Strasburg and the Nationals had not reached an agreement on the remainder of his seven-year, $245 million contract. Players usually get most of what they are owed, as they can continue to play (or try) until the team releases them, but this is not common due to the money owed to Strasbourg and the Nationals’ lack of insurance. The situation was more complicated. on his contract, which generally reduces the risk of long-term injury.

Now, seven months later, both sides have reportedly reached an agreement on the retirement that was already in the offing. According to The Post, Strasburg agreed to defer some of his remaining salary, although the exact terms have not been reported.

Stephen Strasburg’s body breaks down after 2019 World Series MVP

Strasburg was headed toward a painful retirement after winning World Series MVP in 2019, which was the pinnacle of his career. The former phenom sat out his second start of 2020 and missed the rest of the season due to a nerve issue. He returned in 2021, made two starts, was hit on the IL due to shoulder inflammation, returned again, made three starts and then was hit on the IL due to a neck strain.

The death knell of Strasburg’s career came on July 27, 2021, when he was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome. The rare shoulder issue is something pitchers rarely come back from, and even fewer reach 100 percent again. Strasburg made only one more start in his career, in 2023, before immediately returning to the IL due to a rib injury.

After the first retirement ended, Strasburg still had a locker at the Nationals spring training, but did not report after reportedly suffering a setback in his rehab. A few months later came the second retirement.

Strasburg signed a $245 million contract in the 2019 offseason and returned to the Nationals. He made eight more starts in his career with a 6.89 ERA. There probably won’t be a more disastrous contract in the history of baseball.

Stephen Strasburg is still a huge figure in national history

The Nationals’ history will live on in Washington, D.C., but right now it’s impossible to tell the story of the franchise without including Strasburg.

The right-hander was heralded as the savior of the moribund franchise when he was drafted first overall in the 2009 MLB draft after months of hype, possibly being the best pitching prospect ever seen in the draft. Was. This hype continued throughout his brief minor-league career and peaked with his electric MLB debut in 2010, in which he struck out 14 to break Washington’s single-game strikeout record.

After only 11 starts, Strasburg was derailed by Tommy John surgery. His fastball never again reached regular triple-digit heat his rookie year.

Controversy followed Strasburg throughout his career, due to concerns about his long-term health due to pitching mechanics. The Nationals faced a lot of criticism for their elimination in 2012 despite being on track for the playoffs. But general manager Mike Rizzo stood by his decision to impose a precautionary innings limit on Strasburg.

The reward was a pitcher who threw at least 125 innings in each of the next seven seasons, but rarely suffered an injury here and there. However, Strasburg surpassed 200 innings in 2014 and 2019, and from a health standpoint his peak did not look that different from many modern pitchers.

The Nationals would not have won the 2019 World Series without Strasburg, who posted a 1.98 ERA in six appearances (five starts), including two stellar starts against the Houston Astros in the Fall Classic. After setting his career high in innings pitched that season, he was sold to the Nationals, finally becoming the kind of reliable pitcher they had always expected.

Instead, he became another cautionary tale against betting millions of dollars on pitchers, especially those who appear to use maximum effort to light up the radar gun.

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