Stephen Strasburg Retirement Announcement Suddenly Put On Hold

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Reports broke last month that Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg was set to announce his retirement from Major League Baseball.


Strasburg has battled injuries after leading the Nats to the 2019 World Series with one of the most dominant postseason performances over the past few years. Shoulder problems limited the 35-year-old to just eight starts from 2020-2023, with thoracic outlet surgery ending his 2022.

The shoulder surgery cost Strasburg more than just the ability to pitch competitively; normal every day activities have reportedly become nearly impossible. And as a result, he decided to make it official, retire, and focus on his recovery.

With several seasons remaining on his 7-year contract, Strasburg was set to retire and get the rest of his deal paid out by the Nationals through 2029. The organization apparently agreed with the arrangement, with a news conference set for Saturday and a potential uniform retirement next season.

Except Thursday afternoon, the team reportedly told Strasburg it was abruptly canceling the news conference and backing out of the agreement.

What now?

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)

Nationals Back Out Of Retirement For Stephen Strasburg

The Nationals’ decision seemingly came out of nowhere, with just a few days notice before the scheduled announcement.

Strasburg has reportedly wanted to move on, put baseball behind him and focus on getting treatment for his shoulder. The Nats don’t have much choice but to pay him out, with insurance set to cover some, but not all, of the remaining salary.

Yet they appear to have decided at the last minute that the arrangement wasn’t acceptable.

It’s unclear what they’re hoping to gain from delaying the announcement; although it’s likely a negotiation for a lower payout. But without much leverage, that doesn’t seem to be a probable outcome.

Creating acrimony between the organization, Strasburg, and his agent, Scott Boras, also doesn’t seem wise. Although Boras has a history of creating acrimony between himself and teams regardless.

It sure doesn’t seem like this story is anywhere close to over. Stay tuned.

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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