Washington abruptly cancels Strasburg retirement press conference as ‘residual salary payment questioned, renegotiation sought’

The Washington Nationals of Major League Baseball (MLB) have canceled right-hander Stephen Strasburg’s retirement press conference. The reason: a dispute over his remaining salary.

On the 8th (Korean time), local media including USA Today reported that “Strasburg’s retirement press conference scheduled for the 10th has been canceled.” Initially, the date of the press conference and plans such as a permanent number were set, but the club suddenly changed its mind.

Earlier, on the 25th of last month, the Washington Post reported that Strasburg was thinking of retiring and would hold a retirement press conference at Nationals Park, Washington’s home stadium, on the 10th of next month. However, within two weeks of the report, the situation was completely different.

Strasburg, the Nats’ No. 1 overall pick in 2009, made his big league debut on June 9, 2010, against the Pittsburgh Pirates, allowing two runs on four hits (one home run) in seven innings while striking out a career-high 14 batters.

A mainstay in the starting rotation since 2012, Strasburg posted six straight years of double-digit wins from 2014 to 2019, culminating in his best season as a pro in 2019, when he went 18-6 with a 3.32 ERA in 33 games and 209 innings.

What made 2019 so special for Strasburg was that he won the World Series. Strasburg made two starts in the World Series against the Houston Astros and went 2-0 with a 2.51 ERA in 14 1/3 innings, leading his team to two wins. He helped his team to the top of the World Series and was named the World Series Most Valuable Player (MVP).

In recognition of his contributions, Strasburg signed a massive seven-year, $245 million contract with the Nats after the 2019 season. While there were some concerns about the size of the contract, the team was confident that he would be their ace for years to come.

The team’s fears were realized. Strasburg was limited to just two games in 2020 due to wrist soreness, and the following year, he struggled with shoulder and neck issues, going 1-2 with a 4.57 ERA in five games and 21⅔ innings. The specific problem was thoracic outlet syndrome, which Strasburg underwent surgery for in July 2021.

His condition didn’t improve after the surgery, and Strasburg was limited to one start against the Miami Marlins on June 10 last year (4⅔ innings, 8 hits, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts, 7 runs). Ultimately, he was unable to overcome the long layoff and decided to retire from active play this season.

However, Strasburg’s decision to retire has left the Nats in a quandary. It was the length and amount of time left on his contract. The team demanded the remainder of his contract (three years and $1.05 million), and then changed its mind without explanation. The Nats’ decision may have been influenced by the fact that they don’t have the insurance to renegotiate the contract, and the club’s austerity measures.스포츠토토

The Nats are hoping Strasburg will waive at least some of the money, while the player is baffled by the change in stance. With the retirement press conference canceled at short notice, the tug-of-war between the two sides is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

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