Three Teams Heard Bannister Was Retiring

Brian Bannister plans to pitch in 2011. Apparently, three teams didn't get the memo — or they just got the wrong one.

FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal tweets that three clubs told Bannister's agents at Gaylord Sports that they'd heard the right-hander was planning on retiring this offseason. As Rosenthal points out, Bannister, a free agent, is definitely intent on pitching in 2011.

Bannister was designated for assignment and elected free agency last month (he'd have been non-tendered anyway) after the worst season of his career in 2010. The 29-year-old saw his ERA jump to 6.34 through 127 2/3 innings, a far cry from the 4.79 mark with which he entered the season.

Bannister's struggles can likely be traced to an alarming spike in his HR/FB, which rose to a career-high 14.5%. Couple that with his BB/9 raising to 3.52 (2.9 BB/9 career prior to 2010), as well as a career-high .323 BABIP, and you can see why his results soured.

If Bannister can rediscover his control, he'd be due for a rebound, especially with a move to the National League. His poor performance in 2010 and peripheral stats make him an intriguing buy-low candidate. At the very least, he's been durable since coming to the Royals. He only had one trip to the disabled list over the past four years, although the catch there is that it did come recently — he missed 31 days with shoulder tendinitis in the second half of the 2010 season.

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