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Fox News
Fox News
3 Jun 2023

At one point, Stephen Strasburg held the record for the most lucrative contract ever given to a pitcher before it was broken a few days later by Gerrit Cole.

In December 2019, Strasburg signed a seven-year, $245 million deal with the Washington Nationals, breaking the record previously held by David Price ($217 million), after winning the 2019 World Series MVP with the Nats. 

The deal is now in the conversation for the worst contract ever.

Since the deal, Strasburg has made just eight starts as he's dealt with multiple long-term injuries. And that number does not look to be increasing any time soon.

Stephen Strasburg throws

Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg throws live batting practice in a drizzle during the team's spring training baseball workout March 15, 2022, in West Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

In July 2021, it was revealed that Strasburg had thoracic outlet syndrome, and he's made one major league start since.

Now, The Washington Post is reporting the right-hander has "severe nerve damage."

The Post says Strasburg had "pain, tingling and numbness" in late-April, which shut down another attempt at a return, which is similar to what he's dealt with for a long while.

Stephen Strasburg in 2021

Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg stands on the mound after giving up a two-run home run to St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Carpenter April 13, 2021, in St. Louis.  (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)


"He had tried to ramp up three different times this past winter, progressing to multiple bullpen sessions. But after throwing a bullpen in late January, he felt discomfort on his right side and couldn’t continue," the Post reported. 

"The surgery, which he underwent in 2021, removed a rib and two muscles from his neck. As recently as last summer, Strasburg couldn’t stand for long before his right hand went numb. He often had to lie down and press his hand against his chest to be a warped version of comfortable."

Prior to the deal, Strasburg, the first overall pick in the 2009 MLB Draft, pitched to a 3.17 ERA in his career and was named an All-Star three times. He finished in third place in the 2017 NL Cy Young Award vote and fifth place two years later.

Stephen Strasburg pitching

Stephen Strasburg of the Washington Nationals pitches in the first inning against the Miami Marlins at loanDepot Park June 9, 2022, in Miami, Fla. (Kelly Gavin/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Strasburg signed a seven-year, $175 million extension prior to the 2016 season, but he was able to opt out after either 2019 or 2020. Given his performance in 2019, it was a no-brainer to opt out.

Strasburg's deal remains the second-richest ever for a pitcher.

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