And you thought Tom Brady had a short retirement last year.
Strasburg was planning to officially retire Saturday with a lavish press conference at Nationals Park – and a uniform retirement ceremony penciled in for next year.
Instead, the Nats informed Strasburg and his representatives on Thursday that wouldn’t be happening, according to two persons with direct knowledge of the talks.
The original agreement was that Strasburg would retire with his seven-year, $245 million contract intact. He would still be owed $105 million, with deferred payments through 2029.
The Nationals, who originally broached the idea of retirement, told Strasburg’s agent Scott Boras that they had changed their mind – with no explanation.
The persons spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity due the sensitivity of the situation.
“He signed a seven-year deal, he’s got (3.5) years left on the deal,’’ Nats GM Mike Rizzo told 106.7 The Fan on Wednesday, “and he’ll get paid for those four years on the deal until he makes a decision on what his future’s going to be.’’
So even though Strasburg hasn’t thrown a pitch since June 2022, undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome in 2021, he will remain gainfully employed on the Nationals’ roster.
Strasburg, 35, who has pitched made just eight starts and pitched 31 ⅓ innings the past four seasons, can claim his locker, work out at their facility, and who knows, maybe even report to spring training in February.
This is the latest move by Nats’ ownership to reduce their payroll. They recently informed at least 10 scouts that they would not have their contract renewed, and assistant GM Johnny DiPuglia resigned last weekend when they attempted to reduce his salary. They also have yet to finalize a contract extension for Rizzo, whose contract expires after the season.
Strasburg, the No. 1 draft pick in 2010, went 113-62 with a 3.24 ERA, and was the 2019 World Series MVP, winning his two starts against the Houston Astros with a 2.51 ERA. He was constantly plagued by injuries during his 13-year career, making at least 30 starts just three times.
The Nats did not cover Strasburg’s contract with an insurance policy.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Stephen Strasburg’s retirement hits snag as Nationals back out of deal
Source: Yahoo Sports