Stephen Strasburg Is Retiring From Not Playing Baseball

Strasburg, 35, has made eight appearances over the past four seasons

Stephen Strasburg walks off of the mound in 2022.
Stephen Strasburg will retire after this season according to reports.
Kelly Gavin/MLB Photos via Getty

An All-Star for the previous seven years, Chris Sale sealed a World Series championship for the Boston Red Sox with a strikeout of former Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Manny Machado to end the 2018 MLB season.

The Red Sox, possibly feeling some pressure after the Angels signed Mike Trout to a record-breaking 12-year, $426.5 million extension, inked Sale to a five-year, $145 million contract extension that kicked in for 2020 and will run through the ’24 season. Since he signed that deal, Sale, 34, has only appeared in 50 games for Boston and has compiled a 16-16 record with a 4.25 ERA across nearly 270 innings. It’s an albatross of a contract for a player who has barely pitched for four years, but it pales in comparison to the deal the Nationals gave Stephen Strasburg.

The MVP of the 2019 World Series, Strasburg signed a seven-year, $245 million contract months after leading Washington to a championship. Since then, the 35-year-old has pitched just 31⅓ innings and has not gotten on a mound in the majors since June 9 of last year.

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A former No. 1 overall pick who was a phenom when he was called up to The Show, Strasburg underwent surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome in 2021 and has not been able to make a full return from that procedure. It sounds as if he never will as The Washington Post reports the former ace will be retiring following this season.

It’s unclear how the Nationals, who do not have disability insurance on their former star’s contract, and Strasburg will settle up the remaining $105 million he is owed over the next three years. “For Strasburg and his family, I’m not going to make any comments about what’s going on,” said Washington manager Dave Martinez. “What I do know is that he means a lot to me, this organization and the fans. So I’ll just keep it at that.”

Blessed as well as cursed, Strasburg will leave MLB with a 113-62 record, a 3.24 ERA and 1,723 strikeouts in 247 regular-season starts. His postseason numbers are even better: a 1.46 ERA in 55⅓ innings. Strasburg’s stats are likely not enough to earn him Hall of Fame consideration, but he has hundreds of millions of reasons not to care.

“It’s been tough, I’m sure, for him and his family,” said Washington southpaw Patrick Corbin. “The guys in this clubhouse miss him. We wish nothing but the best for him and what’s to come. He is a big reason why I’m here and a big reason why we have a championship ring.”

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