“Throw it and you get hurt again” I’m effectively retired

After leading the Washington Nationals to their first World Series title in franchise history, pitcher Stephen Strasburg, 35, is now effectively retired due to recurring injuries. However, he still has three years and $100 million left on his contract with the Washington Nationals and has not declared his ‘official retirement’ because he has not resolved his feud with the club.

The New York Post reported on March 23 (KST) that Strasburg will retire because his doctors told him it was time to retire and that he would only injure himself if he tried to pitch again, but the Nats must first release him from his contract.

Strasburg has been a fixture in Washington. A former highly touted prospect who made the U.S. National Baseball Team out of San Diego State, Strasburg was the first overall pick in the 2009 draft and was known as a 100-mph fireballer. From his debut in 2010 through 2022, he started all 247 games (1470 innings) in 13 seasons, going 113-62 with a 3.24 ERA and 1,723 strikeouts. He was the National League (NL) strikeout leader in 2014, the NL wins leader in 2019 (18), and a three-time All-Star.

Most importantly, he helped the Nats win their first World Series title in 2019.

In six postseason games (five starts, 34⅓ innings), he was perfect with five wins and a 1.98 ERA. In the World Series, he won both Game 2 (6 innings, 2 runs) and Game 6 (8⅓ innings, 2 runs) and was named MVP.

After becoming a free agent via opt-out after the championship, Strasburg signed a seven-year, $245 million mega-deal with Washington. It was the second-highest contract ever for a pitcher at the time, behind only Gerrit Cole (nine years, $324 million), who moved to the New York Yankees around the same time. It was a lavish deal for the inaugural championship leader, but little did he know it would turn out to be the worst disaster in Washington’s history.

In the first year of his contract in 2020, Strasburg was limited to two starts due to carpal tunnel syndrome, then five in 2021 due to shoulder and neck pain. He underwent surgery to remove ribs and neck muscles for thoracic impingement syndrome and rehabbed for a year, 스포츠토토 but his return on June 10, 2022, against the Miami Marlins (4⅔ innings, seven runs) was his last start. He was sidelined for the rest of the season after reaggravating a nerve problem in the same area while pitching out of the bullpen.

In three years since signing as a free agent, Strasburg has pitched just eight games and 31⅓ innings (1-4, 6.89 ERA) in just 31 starts. “Time keeps going by, and I’m not getting any younger,” he says. He decided to retire at the end of August last year, and the team planned a retirement ceremony and the retirement of his number 37 jersey.

However, the retirement press conference scheduled for Sept. 10 was abruptly canceled.

Strasburg was upset because the Nats had originally agreed to pay all three years and $105 million of his remaining salary. A year later, the situation hasn’t been resolved, and Strasburg hasn’t shown up in West Palm Beach, Florida, where the Nats are holding spring training.

Washington general manager Mike Rizzo said last week that he “expects to see Strasburg in camp,” and that he was looking forward to his role as a mentor rather than a player, but he hasn’t shown up. Under the league office and players’ union collective bargaining agreement, Strasburg has 25 days to show up for camp without a valid excuse or face disciplinary action, which would deepen the rift between him and the Nats.

In Major League Baseball, players who voluntarily retire before the end of their contract are not eligible to receive all of their remaining salary, but there is an exception for players who suffer baseball-related injuries. Strasburg’s contract is uninsured, meaning the Nats are on the hook for the full amount. If the Nats are unable to reach an amicable settlement with Strasburg, they could effectively be forced to keep the retired player on the 60-day disabled list.

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