Stephen Strasburg Expected To Retire Next Month After Catastrophic Injury

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Stephen Strasburg has had one of the most frustrating careers in recent MLB history.

Strasburg entered the league in 2010 with as much prospect hype as any young player in decades. And almost immediately, he started living up to nearly-impossible expectations.

After an injury cost him most of 2011, Strasburg was one of baseball’s most reliable, high level pitchers from 2012-2019. He routinely was near the top of MLB’s strikeout leaderboard and put up a 15-win season in 2017 with a 2.52 ERA.

In 2019 he helped lead the Washington Nationals to a World Series title. In that postseason, Strasburg struck out 47 hitters in 36 innings with an ERA under 2.00. His performance was so exceptional, he was awarded World Series MVP on a team that had Max Scherzer, Juan Soto and Anthony Rendon.

After that season, Strasburg was rewarded with a 7-year, $245 million contract. And that was basically it for his career.

Now, he’s expected to make the end of his career officially, with multiple reports confirming he intends to announce his retirement next month.

Stephen Strasburg
MIAMI, FL – JUNE 09: Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals delivers a pitch in the first inning during the game between the Washington Nationals and the Miami Marlins at loanDepot park on Thursday, June 9, 2022 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Kelly Gavin/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Injuries Derailed Strasburg’s Career

Strasburg has suffered with complications from thoracic outlet syndrome, causing severe nerve damage that’s reportedly made even every day activities difficult.

He’s repeatedly attempted to make comebacks, but has thrown just 30 innings combined in the four seasons following 2019. It’s a frustrating end to what could have been a hall-of-fame career, had he stayed healthy and continued at an elite level.

It makes sense that Strasburg is set to hang it up, as recovery seemed impossible. But it might benefit the Nationals more than anything, considering he still has three years and $105 million remaining on his contract.

Often times when players retire early, there are arrangements made to ensure some portion of the contract is paid out. But it almost certainly won’t be the whole $105 million.

The Nationals are famous for deferring money, so it’s possible Strasburg could wind up in a Bobby Bonilla-esque situation where he’s paid every year for decades to come. Or it could be a lump sum payment after his retirement becomes official.

Either way, the Nats will almost certainly avoid paying Strasburg the full amount remaining, a huge win for their future payroll commitments. And it puts an end to one of the most “what if” careers in MLB history.

Written by Ian Miller

Ian Miller is a former award watching high school actor, author, and long suffering Dodgers fan. He spends most of his time golfing, traveling, reading about World War I history, and trying to get the remote back from his dog. Follow him on Twitter @ianmSC

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