Strasburg, postseason record-setter and WS MVP, retires from MLB

April 7th, 2024

WASHINGTON -- After a World Series championship and winning the corresponding World Series MVP Award, three All-Star selections, one Silver Slugger honor and a dazzling 13-year career, right-hander has retired from baseball, the Nationals announced prior to Sunday afternoon's 3-2 victory over the Phillies at Nationals Park.

He concluded his career with a 113-62 record and 3.24 ERA in 247 starts.

Strasburg, 35, had not pitched in a game since June 9, 2022, because of thoracic outlet syndrome.

"As a young kid, all I dreamt about was winning a World Series. Thanks to the many coaches, teammates and medical staff, my boyhood dream came true in 2019," Strasburg said in a statement. "Despite this being a personal goal of mine, I've come to realize how truly important and special that moment was for the many fans in the DMV. Your unwavering support through all the ups and downs will always mean the world to me.

"I'd also like to thank the late Ted Lerner and family for giving me the chance to wear the curly W all these years. Although I will always wish there were more games to be pitched, I find comfort knowing I left it all out there for the only team I've known. My family and I are truly fortunate and blessed to have experienced this baseball journey in the Nation's Capitol."

Strasburg was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 Draft out of San Diego State University. He made his Major League debut just one year later on June 8, 2010, beginning his tenure as one of the Nationals’ most dominant pitchers.

“On behalf of the Lerner - Cohen - Tanenbaum family, I’d like to thank Stephen for all he’s done for the Washington Nationals," said managing principal owner Mark Lerner in a statement. "It was a privilege to watch him grow as a player and a person throughout his illustrious career. He gave us so many memories that will live in our hearts forever. No one can dispute the indelible impact he had on our organization. He put us on the map as world champions and changed the face of our franchise. Thank you, Stephen -- for everything -- and congratulations on a tremendous career.”

In the span from his debut through the 2019 season, Strasburg ranked third among all starting pitchers with 10.60 strikeouts per nine innings, a .352 opponents’ slugging percentage and a .631 opponents’ OPS, among other statistical highlights. His pitching prowess reached an elite milestone when he became the fastest pitcher in Major League history to record 1,500 career strikeouts, doing so in just 1,272 1/3 innings pitched.

Strasburg wowed the baseball world throughout the Nationals' 2019 World Series quest by becoming the first pitcher in history to go 5-0 in a single postseason. His 1.98 ERA and 47 strikeouts to only four walks stifled opponents, who were 0-for-22 with runners in scoring position. Following the postseason, Strasburg signed a then-record seven-year, $245 million contract.

Injuries halted the remainder of Strasburg’s career. Following 2019, he pitched just 31 1/3 innings and made eight starts across three seasons. Strasburg underwent season-ending carpal tunnel surgery in August 2020, after experiencing numbness in his throwing hand. One year later, in July 2021, he underwent thoracic outlet surgery. Strasburg returned to the mound 11 months later to throw 4 2/3 frames in Miami in what would be his final big league start.

“I’d like to congratulate Stephen on an incredible career," said Nationals general manager and president of baseball operations Mike Rizzo. "From his Major League debut in 2010 through leading us to a title as the World Series MVP in 2019, the impact he’s had on our ball club is undeniable. He will go down as one of the best players in Washington Nationals history, and it was my honor to be part of that journey. We’re thankful for all he’s done for our organization and wish him and his family the absolute best.”