Nationals owner says team not hosting Strasburg retirement ceremony

WASHINGTON — There will be no retirement news conference for Stephen Strasburg at Nationals Park this weekend, though there’s no indication anything has changed about Washington’s 2019 World Series MVP deciding to retire.

Owner Mark Lerner released a rare statement Friday to respond to a variety of reports about a news conference, which was being planned for Saturday but was never announced by the team.

“While we have been following the process required by the collective bargaining agreement, behind-the-scenes preparations for a press conference had begun internally,” Lerner said in a statement. “However, no such event was ever confirmed by the team or promoted publicly.”

Strasburg has not pitched since June 2022 because of injuries that have derailed his career.

A source told ESPN last month that Strasburg had decided to retire and that an official announcement was expected to be made Sept. 9, confirming news that was first reported by The Washington Post.

Lerner called leaks about Strasburg’s retirement announcement unfortunate.

“It is regrettable that private discussions have been made public through anonymous sources attempting to negotiate through the media,” Lerner said.

The statement comes as general manager Mike Rizzo is still without a contract extension and in the aftermath of the resignation of longtime assistant GM Johnny DiPuglia.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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