NEW YORK – What had sadly become obvious earlier this year is now becoming reality: Stephen Strasburg will be forced to retire from the Nationals, unable to recover from his 2021 thoracic outlet surgery enough to pitch again in a major league game.
The Nationals are not publicly announcing anything yet, but a source confirmed the decision has been made and there are plans for Strasburg to hold a press conference at Nationals Park during the team’s next homestand. The Washington Post first reported the news.
"For Strasburg and his family, I'm not going to make any comments about what's going on," manager Davey Martinez said, fighting tears following his team's 6-5 win over the Yankees this afternoon. "What I do know is that he means a lot to me and this organization, and the fans. I'll just keep it at that."
It had become clear earlier this year Strasburg was not going to be able to make a full recovery after several attempts to rehab from the July 2021 surgery that derailed his career. He made one start in Miami in June 2022 but could not avoid another trip to the injured list, and one final attempt to come back this spring was cut short due to continued pain and discomfort in his arm, neck and shoulder.
Because he still has three years remaining on the seven-year, $245 million contract he signed after the 2019 World Series, Strasburg needed to work out some kind of financial arrangement with the Nationals. In voluntarily retiring, the 35-year-old would normally forfeit any money still owed to him. Sources familiar with the situation said negotiations had been taking place for months, delaying the final resolution until now.