Something was odd about this American Strat as it didn't feel quite right. The action was super high action and looking a the bridge gave clues to it's cause. The bridge was pitched towards the neck, yet the spring claw was tightened to the point that the front of the bridge block was touching the body (ie maxed out).
Sighting across the front of the bridge shows that the treble bridge post is leaning and pulling the bridge forward into the pickup cavity. My suspensions were confirmed when I pulled the bridge (pictured below). The bridge insert had blown out the body and was not holding the bridge in place. The damaged wood will have to be repaired in order to get the action low again.