Nationals manager Dave Martinez told reporters (including Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post) that Stephen Strasburg will land on the 15-day injured list prior to tomorrow’s game against the Braves. The team hasn’t specified a diagnosis, and Martinez only noted that Strasburg was headed for an MRI after experiencing some discomfort following a bullpen session over the weekend.
The team will no doubt provide more context whenever the results of the imaging come back, but there’s evidently no chance for him to suit up within the next two weeks regardless of the specific diagnosis. Needless to say, it’s a disheartening development considering Strasburg’s injury history of late. He missed almost all of the abbreviated 2020 campaign because of carpal tunnel syndrome, then spent most of last year on the shelf with shoulder and neck irritation.
Last season’s injuries culminated in a July surgery to correct thoracic outlet syndrome. That ended his season and kept him out for the first couple months of this year. Washington gradually built him back up to game readiness, giving him a trio of minor league rehab starts before activating him from the IL to make his first MLB outing of the season last Thursday.
Strasburg didn’t pitch well in his debut, surrendering seven runs in 4 2/3 innings against the Marlins. He averaged just north of 90 MPH on his fastball, per Statcast, down about two ticks from last season’s mark and more than three MPH softer than his 2019 average. The three-time All-Star clearly wasn’t at peak form, but he came out of the appearance expressing optimism about his health after getting back onto the mound. Unfortunately, he’s now dealing with another setback, the extent of which is still to be determined.
A career-long member of the organization since being drafted first overall in 2009, Strasburg is among the most accomplished players in franchise history. He posted an ERA of 3.74 or lower in eight consecutive years between 2012-19, a run that culminated in a 3.32 ERA across 209 innings during the 2019 season. Strasburg was excellent during the postseason to help Washington claim a World Series title, and the Nats re-signed him to a seven-year, $245MM free agent deal the following winter.
Strasburg has made just eight MLB starts in the two-plus years since signing that deal. The right-hander turns 34 years old next month, and he’s under contract for $35MM annually through the 2026 campaign.
Any trade involving Soto will include Strasburg and his albatross contract
That makes no sense. You can just sign him when he hits Free Agency. No one is going to take that contract AND give up premium talent for Soto
I think the downside to attaching him means you are gonna get less back for Soto. That being said anything for Soto would be unrealistic asking price so probably a win-win for the team if it were to come to attaching the two.
You’ll get back less, sure. But BTV says Soto + Strasburg is still pretty deep into the positive surplus value.
They will if they want Soto NOW. He’s not exactly close to FA.
Actually, it might make sense for the Nationals. Soto is such a special talent, and so young, that if he were marketed now (or this offseason) teams would be lining up to offer huge packages for him. But let’s be realistic, the Nats are never going to get equal value for Soto…it would be like 8-10 top 50 prospects, which no one has or is going to give. However, if and when the Nats market Soto and teams like the Dodgers, Yankees, Mets, Giants, etc., are bidding the offers likely will be close enough that one team might take Strasburg too to put them over the top. If the Yankees are getting Soto 2 years before free agency, they’re paying for it in premium prospects…the $35M per year Strasburg is owed is little in terms of the value Soto provides. They could actually do this.
The real question is whether Soto is worth $52M+ a year? Strasburg is making $35M for the foreseeable future. Soto will probably be close to, if not over, $30M in 2025 arb salary. Then there is the prospect capital to facilitate a trade and luxury tax implications for teams over the threshold. There is also no guarantee Soto will resign nor Strasburg even being on an active roster. I’ll take a hard pass and wait until he hits FA.
*2024 arb salary
“. I’ll take a hard pass and wait until he hits FA.”
Say he doesn’t hit FA…say that the Dodgers/Yankees get in a bidding war to trade for him and the difference is taking on Strasburg’s contract? Either would do it because it’s not likely he’s leaving whatever team he’s traded to…they’ll pony up the money to keep him if they’re going to trade for him.
@Tom There is always a chance he walks. He did turn down a reported $350M extension from the Nats. The Yankees weren’t willing to “pony up” what Judge wanted and it’s a real possibility he wears another uniform next year. Both Soto and Judge are betting on themselves.
Dodgers are not bidding on his services. Strasburg should consider retirement
2023-26. 140,000,000 due to him and you want him to retire? All he has to do is rehab and do what the team requires. Eventually he might get sent home for good with the money. If he retires he cannot collect.
Curly Was The Smart Stooge
Strasburg is the boy in the bubble. Every time he comes out of that bubble, he has to turn around & go right back in. Kinda sad.
Retiring is probably the best thing for everyone. I don’t know why you say all he has to do is rehab and do what the team requires. He hadn’t pitched in almost a year, pitched not even five innings and gets hurt again. He had almost a year of rehab and got hurt again in his first start. I don’t know if he will pitch again this season. I doubt he needs the money. Think what they could do with that money. It would be huge. But don’t give it to Mike Rizzo to spend. He needs to go.
No reason for him to leave that money on the table. If he’s willing to do continuous rehab he gets paid. If he truly absolutely cannot ever pitch again according to medical opinion, he can retire and still get paid, but that doesn’t seem to be the case right now.
If he retires he doesn’t get the money. Simple as that. He ain’t walking away from 140 million , no chance in hell.
I think he would walk away from 140 million. He doesn’t want to be remembered as one of the worst contracts ever in baseball.
Corbin is attachable but no on earth would take this contract even with Soto attached
BTV says Soto + Strasburg is $36.4m surplus value
BTV isn’t the be all end all. The Nats will want prospects first and foremost. No one is trading the prospect capital, plus taking on Strasburg, plus have to worry about Soto’s contract status.
The Nationals about yo go Mookie style?!
Probably the stupidest thing you’ve ever said. Why would any team give up prospects for Soto and take Strasburg’s contract?
"Not" Rick Hahn
Lol. That lasted a day.
I know. This is a shocking development. I mean, the fact that he pitched 1 game I mean.
Modern day Mike Hampton (but much MUCH worse) with that contract.
At least Nationals have a World Series to show for it
not during the span of his contract
Not even close. I’d still take Strasburg all day.
“Har-vey’s bet-ter!” Remember that?
Take him where exactly, because he does have oodles of free time these days….
This is unfortunate. I don’t see a reason to have this guy pitch again this season. One of the worst teams in the league, and like it or not, you’re married to this guy now. Better to see if you can’t get him right for next year.
Strasburg has had a boatload of injuries and the last TOS is usually a career ender unfortunately. It’s not a good sign his mph on his fastball is down that much either. Remember this guy used to touch 100 mph with his fastball a few years ago.
You make a lot of sense.
Getting him right is probably for one game.
Poor guy. What a mess.
He really is the next Ellsbury huh. At least we had 2019…
Ellsbury had questionable character and I don’t think it’s debatable. Strasburg has been willing to work his way back after suffering way worse injuries.
Hot take – Stras and Corbin contracts combined are worse than the Miggy or David contacts were.
David? Am I blanking or is this Price?
Maybe he meant Davis? As in Chris Davis. Even though it doesn’t have many years left at all.
Maybe David Wright
The Nationals had one of the best contracts in Scherzer, but I think Stras and Corbin completely erase that.
Dumpster Divin Theo
Dumpster Divin Theo
“Nationals To Place Stephen Strasburg On Injured List”
MLBTR writers have a permanent hot key setting that types this entire phrase out to save time, I hear.
Ghost of past pirates
Forwhomthejoshbelltrolled what a loser
The Ghost of Andy LaRoche is angry.
He’s got a hangnail this time
Seems like the Nationals paid Strasburg based off what he did in the past, not the future numbers he’ll put up in the season. Still can’t believe they signed him to that deal. Even Aaron Judgeb doesn’t deserve that much. Injury-prone player contacts rarely work out. Like Chris Davis, Jacoby Ellsbury, Pujols etc
I mean I think everyone realized that that was what they were doing the day the contract was signed.
Starting pitchers are the world’s worst long-term investment.
I feel terrible for this guy. Seems like every time he’s close to getting healthy, he’s back on the IL. Great talent when he’s on the field
I still say Stras should pay Trent Grisham a percentage of his salary every year.
Rizzo let’s Harper, Rendon walk and deals Turner. Signed Corbin and kept Strasberg. Good thing he got that ring. It cost them.
Rendon isn’t an ironman either.
He’s not, and neither is Harper, but I wouldn’t put them in the same class as SS when it comes to injuries with large contracts.
Harper has been pretty solid since the trade. He may get banged up but usually plays through. Like taking 97mph off the face and not going on the dl.
The Strasburg deal makes me feel a lot better about Boston’s deal with Chris Sale. At least there is some light at the end of the tunnel on the Sale deal (only 4 years). This Strasburg deal is double the length, much more expensive and was completely misguided. How do let your best pitcher (Scherzer) walk, decide to pay Strasburg (with all of his injury history) to this nearly record-setting deal and sign Corbin to a massive deal as well while letting a franchise (and MLB) icons Iike Harper and Scherzer walk out the door. It is eerily similar to Boston with the Sale/Price contracts weighing down the team’s payroll so much that they ‘couldn’t afford’ (haha) to keep Mookie Betts. At least Boston had the balls to trade Mookie for $0.10 on the dollar and were able to get LA to eat 50% of Price’s contract as part of that deal, but both decisions by both teams were flat out awful. Good pitching may win championships but you have to pick the right “good pitchers” to gamble on. I pay Scherzer any day of the week over Corbin and Strasburg and you pay Harper whatever he wants to stay.
@DorothyMantooth totally agree. Scherzer is a bulldog, determined and driven no matter what his paycheck says, no matter what team he plays for, and although he’s had some injuries he’s had a relatively healthy career. Strasburg has similar drive, but the injury history can’t be ignored, and as for Corbin, he’s one of many that received big money and seems complacent getting the paychecks without giving the team or fans results worth the money.
I believe Mike Rizzo signed Strasburg because he was the franchise’s other #1 overall pick savior. And he was the World Series MVP. It’s not always about winning. GM’s have bosses and they like butts in the seats. Massive backfire though obviously.
The Nationals had to address the narrative that they let all their homegrown talent walk. Coming off the WS win they more or less had to sign either Rendon or Strasburg and they chose Strasburg. The Rendon contract hasn’t worked out too well so far for the Angels either.
They won without Harper.
Chris Sale was an operation waiting to happen because he is so tall and thin.
For all his injuries it’s not like he’s been a bust at the big league level. He’s started 247 games and has an ERA+ of 127. His WAR is basically half of a Hall of Famer’s, but to see him averaging 90 mph on the four seamer is sad to see.
The four-seamer velo was 91st percentile in the bigs in 2015; now it’s just a 29th percentile pitch (in 2021). What’s worse, his fastball spin is 17th percentile. Not a good combo.
@Ted – I agree that Strasburg is an excellent pitcher; I just think it was misguided to pay him for 7 years @ $35M per year given his injury history and the other options they had; namely re-signing Scherzer and keeping Harper. When Strasburg is healthy, he is an elite #2 starter and a quality #1 starter on most teams. The problem with him was, and continues to be, his injury history. Scherzer was getting a little long in the tooth and had some minor injuries along the way in DC but it was easy to see how special Scherzer was and that he was cut from the Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson cloth where he could pitch into his 40’s effectively. That’s where I would have put the money in that situation. Boras pulled off yet another heist; love him or hate him, he is the best agent out there for top talent.
I don’t think anyone is saying that he’s an overall bust, just with the current contract he has. This is one of two that won’t age well for Rizzo, coupled with letting Harper walk. I get Rendon, but forecasting your team’s payroll as opposed to signing Corbin…Scherzer, Turner…was a solid team.
Mammoth. Extinct. DinO-SOUR.
Who let the dogs out?!
Strasburg: Woof Woof Woof Woof
Who let the dogs out?!
Chris Davis: Wood Woof Woof Woof
Who let the dogs out?!
Jacoby Ellsbury: Woof Woof Woof Woof
Who let the dogs out?!
Jed Lowrie: Woof Woof Woof Woof
Who let the dogs out?!
Aaron Hicks: Woof Woof Woof Woof
On the Mount Rushmore of bad contracts…
You really have to wonder if it’s time to just hang up the spikes..He’s had a helluva career, he’s made sure his family is rich for generations, and he’s won a championship..Either way, wish him the best..but this doesn’t look good..
Sigh. I fear he’s cooked. Poor guy.
Cap & Crunch
Silliness abound everywhere in this thread. Nobodies getting attached to Soto if they do decide to trade him. Deep rebuild here where Stras and Corbin won’t affect the team much as they won’t be players in free agency anyways…they are expiring in Nats uniforms .
The possible Learner sale makes this so much more complicated with Soto. Id think the plan would be to hold till this offseason at least and let time run it’s course. Things feel too unsettled at the moment to throw such a big punch
Props on the Ruiz and Gray trade last year tho. Got them outta the gates well for what will be a long road back. Nothing to fret about this was a really good team for a long time and got a ring outta it. Every team eventually has to go thru the cycle and at least Nats realized it early
@ Cap & Crunch – It’s hard to do a full rebuild when you have those (2) anchors on your team for multiple rebuild seasons. Corbin is owed $59M for 2023 & 2024 and Strasburg is owed $105M for 2023 – 2025. Even if Strasburg is able to recapture his old form, Washington will need to eat at least $55M if not more of his contract to move him and he won’t bring back much in return given his high cost. Corbin is an immovable object: I don’t think anyone saw him completely collapsing the way he did. I agree that Washington needs a full rebuild but IMO that rebuild should include Soto. Soto will cost between $35-$40M per season so Washington will have just over $100M wrapped up in Stras, Corbin and Soto for the next 2 years and about $70M for Stras & Soto in 2025. That leaves them plenty of payroll space to bring in some savvy veterans on short term deals and try to rebuild this franchise with their youth. Sure, Soto would probably bring back 2-3 elite prospects but that sets them back even further as prospects are merely lottery tickets until they prove they can handle the big leagues, which most cannot.
Starting this July, Washington needs to draft well, find a few gems in IFA (or the international draft) and most importantly, develop the talent they have in the organization right now. With all the turmoil in DC and a possible sale of the team, I don’t see how they are going to do all of this (Soto trade or not) in the next few years so this team is in real trouble for the foreseeable future. They are looking at a Baltimore type of rebuild…long, painful and limited success for years to come, with or without Soto anchoring the lineup.
Cap & Crunch
They won’t be buyers in free agency so Corb and Stras hurt a lot less than they would typically if they were on a good team trying to push forward
It’s like the Cubs fans who still complain about Heyward …..Heyward’s contract hurt a lot more when they were in it and good and needed the money to spend…less so today as a team in transition
*Id probably look to keep Soto as well long term ….I just don’t see a team willing to give enough for him knowing 400 mill is coming.
But Kudos for getting in gear w the rebuild, too many teams are a day late buck short. Too many front offices buckle to rabid fans that don’t know any better. Rebuilds must be so difficult for everyone involved…I think the first thing you have to do is just be honest with yourself and recognize it while putting your ego aside. Many can’t even clear that hurdle try and use the hedge wedge to appease fans and it just sets ya back more years
The most fragile player to ever play the game
Prior was way more fragile along with dozens of others.
The most fragile player to ever play the game
For the 8 years between 2012-2019, Strasburg was one of the most dependable starters in baseball. He ranked #17 in game starts over that period.
I get this feeling that because he was injured once, a long time ago, that fans never got that out of their minds.
Don’t forget Johan Santana.
This is sad news. Hopefully it’s nothing serious and he can get back on the mound soon. I’m a Mets fan but appreciate Strasburg’s talent and enjoy watching him pitch.
He takes his rightful place as king of the IL as only he can. I can already see the first meeting back between him and his IL brethren. First order of business, “what has to be done in order to get Nimmo and Rendon back there as well?”.
I said it then and I’ll say it now – it was so obvious that that contract was a horrible idea when it was signed. It seems amazing to say, but the Nationals might not even get 100 innings out of that whole contract.
Cap & Crunch
I thought so as well beyouo but I still said at the time if it’s Rendon or Stras I don’t blame them for taking Stras – Sp was always their identity and got them a ring
I said as well ” sign neither’ but realized at the time that was a lot of message board bravery. Tougher to do when sitting in the seat just comin off being champs
**Side-Props to the Cubs for drowning out all the noise thru a similar trajectory. Rizzos having a decently good year but those Bryant Rizzo Baez long term exts the whole fan base wanted woulda sank that team in mud had they inked them. As for all walks of life, sometimes it’s the hands ya don’t play that can be the most beneficial
Too much speculation & y’all wrong. Strasburg will go no where under this agreement, unless NATS are sold. He is a big risk / injury prone for big $.
Soto will wait & opt for FA and see what the market offers, NATS can’t get 3 Q top notch return for Soto. As a NATS (& Yankee) fan who saw them since they moved back & went to WS ‘19 it hurts re what’s happened- unloading. Learners need to go!
As a baseball fan, I’m sorry that a talented pitcher like Strass is going to the IL again, it’s never good when the talent pool is diluted by injuries.
As a Braves fan, I’m sorry that we won’t get to tee off him on Tuesday like the Fish did
This is how Strasburg works. Every time he has a bad start, he gets “hurt”, and goes on the injured list for an “unspecified reason”.
I’m no math expert but 35m x 2 = 70m/8 = 8,750,000 per start over the last 2 years.
They overpaid Corbin as much or more than Strasburg. He’s just an average pitcher who had a couple of well-timed good years. A good GM is supposed to avoid deals like that. Rizzo has destroyed the Nats. What do they pay him for sucking so bad at his job?
Strasburg isn’t going to retire and leave all that money on the table. He’s gonna noodle arm right through that contract.
Play the Game
Glad he signed in Washington!
stan lee the manly
This may go down as one of the worst contracts in MLB history at this point.
Cap & Crunch
Until Corey Seager
still one of the best MLB pitching debuts against PIT