WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg announced his retirement Sunday, ending the 2019 World Series MVP’s injury-filled career.

Strasburg’s retirement was listed on Major League Baseball’s transaction page Saturday. Since leading Washington to its only World Series title five years ago, Strasburg pitched just 31 1/3 innings over eight starts.

“I realized after repeated attempts to return to pitching, injuries no longer allow me to perform at a Major League level,” Strasburg said in a statement.

Both Nationals owner Mark Lerner and general manager Mike Rizzo released statements congratulating Strasburg on his career.

“The impact he’s had on our ball club is undeniable,” Rizzo said. “He will go down as one of the best players in Washington Nationals history.”

The 35-year-old Strasburg was 113-62 with a 3.24 ERA over 13 seasons and made three All-Star appearances. He led the National League with 18 victories in 2019 and then delivered a dominant postseason, going 5-0 with a 1.98 ERA over six appearances. That included wins in Games 2 and 6 of the World Series in Houston.

He signed a seven-year, $245 million contract in December 2019 but threw only 528 pitches in the majors since then. He had surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome, a nerve and blood disorder that led to the removal of a rib and two neck muscles.

Strasburg has not pitched since June 9, 2022, when he lasted 4 2/3 innings in his lone start of the season before going back on the injured list. He did not report for spring training in 2023 or 2024.

Under the terms of his contract, Strasburg receives $35 million annually, with $11,428,571 a year deferred at 1% interest. The deferred money is payable in equal installments of $26,666,667 on July 1 in 2027, 2028 and 2029, with an interest payment of $3,999,974 on Dec. 21, 2029.

Strasburg was viewed as a franchise cornerstone when Washington selected him with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 amateur draft. He arrived in the majors almost exactly a year later, when he struck out 14 in a debut against Pittsburgh on June 8, 2010, in a performance that was quickly dubbed “Strasmas.”

Within three months, Strasburg underwent Tommy John surgery and was lost for most of the 2011 season. The Nationals shut him down late in the 2012 season, and criticism of the team was amplified when it lost to St. Louis in the NL Division Series.

Strasburg threw 150 regular-season innings five times, including a career-high 209 in 2019. That was before he struck out 47 over 36 1/3 innings that October.

“It was a privilege to watch him grow as a player and a person throughout his illustrious career,” Lerner said in his statement. “He gave us so many memories that will live in our hearts forever.”

In his statement, Strasburg thanked coaches, teammates and medical staff, and he acknowledged the “unwavering support” of fans throughout his career.

“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,” Strasburg wrote. “My family and I are truly fortunate and blessed to have experienced this baseball journey in the Nation’s Capitol.”


AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb