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Nationals Release Statement on Stephen Strasburg Reported Retirement Situation

With confusion still surrounding Stephen Strasburg’s pending retirement, the Nationals issued public comments on Friday addressing the injured pitcher’s status with the team.

Over the last 24 hours, the team’s standing with Strasburg, who decided to retire in August, took a wild turn after the abrupt cancellation of the 35-year-old’s reported retirement press conference, set for Saturday. The news coincided with a report from The Athletic stating the Nationals have been trying to work out settlement with Strasburg despite his contract being fully guaranteed.

In a statement obtained by Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post, Washington stated Strasburg’s retirement presser had never been confirmed before asking for privacy as negotiations remain ongoing. The club also curiously noted it looks forward to seeing the veteran “when we report to Spring Training.” 

The statement read as follows:

“Stephen Strasburg is and always will be an important part of the Washington Nationals franchise. We support him in any decision he makes and will ensure that he receives what is due to him.

“It is regrettable that private discussions have been made public through anonymous sources attempting to negotiate through the media. While we have been following the process required by the Collective Bargaining Agreement, behind-the-scenes preparations for a press conference had begun internally. However, no such event was ever confirmed by the team or promoted publicly. It is unfortunate that external leaks in the press have mischaracterized these events.

“It is our hope that ongoing conversations remain private out of respect for the individuals involved. Until then, we look forward to seeing Stephen when we report to Spring Training.”

The No. 1 pick in 2009, Strasburg, whose last game came in June 2022, has dealt with a number of maladies since inking a seven-year, $245 million contract following Washington’s World Series win in ’19. Currently on the injured list with nerve damage, Strasburg is considered “100 percent disabled” after battling thoracic outlet syndrome since ’21, according to The Athletic.

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