Stephen Strasburg won't hold a retirement news conference Saturday, Nationals owner says

WASHINGTON (AP) — 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 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 person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press last month Strasburg had decided to retire. The person told The AP at the time a news conference was expected sometime in September, though nothing was set.

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.