Despite still having three years left on his contract, the Washington Nationals reportedly fear SP Stephen Strasburg may never pitch again amid his consistent battles with injuries, per Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post.
According to Dougherty, Strasburg has been shutdown for the past month which has led to “increasing doubt” that the three-time All-Star “will ever pitch again.”
Washington is in the midst of a rebuild. Following their 2019 World Series victory, the Nationals felt confident that the future was bright despite Anthony Rendon signing with the Los Angeles Angels in free agency. The Nationals still had stars such as Juan Soto and Trea Turner on offense, while the pitching rotation was set to include arms like Stephen Strasburg, Max Scherzer, and Patrick Corbin.
Scherzer, Turner, and Soto have all since been traded amid the team's struggles. Trading Corbin has proven to be nearly impossible given his immense downfall over the past couple of years. He used to be regarded as an All-Star caliber pitcher, but Corbin has labored mightily for the Nationals in recent seasons.
Trading Stephen Strasburg also hasn't been an option given his large contract and injury woes. Given this latest update, there is a chance Washington will need to pay him for the next three years despite receiving no on-field production. According to the aforementioned article written by Dougherty, the Nats also don't have any disability insurance on Strasburg's contract, making the situation even worse.
Strasburg is owed $35 million in 2024, 2025, and 2026 before hitting free agency in 2027, per Spotrac. His deal will make the Nationals' rebuild more difficult as they attempt to develop a winning ball club over the next few seasons.