Gil Meche Announces Retirement

Gil Meche has officially announced his retirement. The right-hander was set to earn $12MM this year, but Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports hears that he will forfeit that sum. Meche says his shoulder pushed him to this decision.

“As a competitor my entire life this is the hardest decision that I’ve ever faced, but it’s not fair to me, my family or the Kansas City Royals that I attempt to pitch anymore," Meche explained. "I came into this game as a starting pitcher and unfortunately my health, more accurately, my shoulder, has deteriorated to the point where surgery would be the only option and at this stage of my life I would prefer to call it a career rather than to attempt to pitch in relief for the final year of my contract."

Meche thanked the Royals and their fans for his four seasons in Kansas City.

118 Responses to Gil Meche Announces Retirement Leave a Reply

  1. Sniderlover 5 years ago

    Woah… did he just leave 12 million?

    • rzepczynski 5 years ago


      • rzepczynski 5 years ago

        Thats what he would make if he won World Series MVP, Cy Young, MVP, Gold Glove, and all star selection

        • MFH 5 years ago

          Pretty sure he was a lock for these things..

          • MoCrash 5 years ago

            You’re right. It was guaranteed money.

    • YES. MECHE has rarely pitched anywhere close to the value of his contract. He is showing some class by forgoing what will probably be another injury tagged season. He pitched great in his short audition last Sept out of the pen with a 2.08 ERA in 13innings. I wrote elsewhere I pray OLIVER PEREZ looks to MECHE as an example of how to be a true professional Major League Baseball up to the very end leaving on a positive not with fan respect and saving yourself the embarrassment of trying to weasel his way through one last over paid season.

      • It looked like a good deal for two years until his arm fell apart. Hardly his fault.

      • I understand how you feel about Oliver Perez, Rich, but if I played big league ball I know I’d be trying to keep playing as long as possible. I know I’ve heard other major leaguers say the same thing. I think Gil is class act and I think it’s great thing that he has done, but I think anyone would be hard pressed to walk away from the game if they can still find one more team to pay them to play.

    • Wow, I’m Impressed……..the dude has cajonas………just didn’t want to “change his career” pitching his final season out of the bullpen!!
      Some guys KNOW when it’s TIME…….hear that, BRETT FAVRE?

  2. Ballspaldin 5 years ago

    Royals got lucky here! Good for him, retiring before his deal was done because he understood he was

    • Rabbitov 5 years ago

      I don’t really understand your comment. I don’t think he retired because of performance, or to take the money, I think he retired for injury reasons.

      • Injury reasons.. Leading to a decline in his performance, or worse, he wouldn’t perform at all.

    • Infield Fly 5 years ago

      I’d think any team would be glad for a player to be a stand-up guy about the fact that he’s done. Think of Jason Schmidt circa 2007: singed a hefty deal, pitched a handful of games, then got injured after which he kind of never went away but was never really there either….for the duration of his 3-yr contract. No team wants “that guy” in their ranks.

      • woadude 5 years ago

        How about what Pavano gave the Yanks?

        • Infield Fly 5 years ago

          Oh, that….ha, ha.

          Well, let’s just say that what Pavano pulled is just a little too vulgar to describe on this board, but it does involve a “shaft”….

  3. davros42 5 years ago

    Good, meaty story here. Lots of detail.

    • stl_cards16 5 years ago

      Welcome to MLBTR. They get the news out as quick as possible. Then they will go back and add more to the story.

      • East Coast Bias 5 years ago

        I like that approach. You know the story as soon as it breaks, then find out details as they become available. It works.

  4. rzepczynski 5 years ago

    Hey Gil thanks for turning down toronto so you could toil away in KC you scrub

    • atomicme123 5 years ago

      He got lucky turning a slightly above average walk year into 5/55M JPR must be laughing somewhere now

    • what a terrible comment! not too many people would leave 12 mill on the table and retire because he knew he would be of no help to the royals. gil meche did the honorable thing here and should be commended for such.

    • He would have done the same with toronto. Not like those guys have done anything this decade as well.

  5. qbass187 5 years ago


  6. yankeeaddiction 5 years ago

    I think he did walk away from like 12 million. He may have announced it but you do have to fll out paperwork ect with the league so he may be placed on the 60 dl or something like that to still collect his money.

    He may be taking a job with them where they pay the last year of the deal for him to work in a different capacity. I remember when many criticized the Royals for signing him to the big deal- look at his numbers led league in starts over 200 innings era under 4. If he opitched that way for the Yankees, Redsox or Angels in that time frame he may have some 20 win seasons to show for it.

    • When considering the attitude that a lot of athletes take, it’d very noble of him to walk away from that money.

      I’m not sure if the Royals knew about it for a while, but this could definitely alter their plans if it came as a surprise.

    • MoCrash 5 years ago

      According to his conference call today, Meche is just walking away from the last year of his deal and retiring to Louisiana to be with his family, which was another consideration. He suggested the Royals could make good use of that money to add a couple of players and that he was disappointed he didn’t live up to the money he was paid (after the first two years, when he performed as expected).

  7. sigfraud 5 years ago

    “It’s not clear whether the Royals will save money because of Meche’s decision, but it seems likely that it will benefit the team financially.”

    No comprendo this sentence.

  8. MLB_in_the_Know 5 years ago

    So, now the question is…do the Royals spend any of the $12 million they saved today, or do they pocket it?

    • twenty1thirteen 5 years ago

      Spend it on the draft!

    • There’s not much to spend it on today. They’d be best served re-investing it in drafting and development.

      • Agreed. Take the windfall and throw money at talented guys who slid down in the draft because of demands. Didn’t another team do that last year and come up with a pretty terrific draft class as a result?

        • East Coast Bias 5 years ago

          Are you talking about Zach Cox who dropped to the Cardinals at the 25th spot because of signability concerns?

    • Well, they still need to sign Billy Butler.

      • MoCrash 5 years ago

        Butler will be $4.3 million at most. That would leave the Royals with $8m. I don’t know where it puts payroll this year, which was estimated at around $50m before Meche retired. I’d agree with those suggesting they use it for scouting and development; the Royals’ approach has to be stockpiling young talent and keep it constantly churning through the system — and then at least six years with the big club when ready.

    • woadude 5 years ago

      Dayton Moore is asking “what 12 million???”

  9. bjsguess 5 years ago

    Without knowing the financial implications it’s hard to evaluate this (i.e. – it’s easy to retire if a large settlement package is included).

    However, if he retired and gave up $12m then I’m super impressed. That’s exactly what an athlete should do. Instead of robbing the fans and the organization of money you are not earning, send that back to the team with the idea that they will use that money to make the organization better.

    11 WAR over 4 years isn’t too shabby considering that he was injured for the last 2. Even then, the deal was OK. Never would have thought 4 years ago that I would be saying that Meche was a solid signing despite effectively missing 3 out 5 years. He really was that good in years 1 and 2.

    • East Coast Bias 5 years ago

      Would you do that? I don’t think I could…

    • mboss 5 years ago

      It sounds good in a perfect world, but I don’t know many people that would walk from $12M guaranteed. The team knew the risks when they signed him to a guaranteed deal, that’s the way MLB is structured.

      • bjsguess 5 years ago

        I totally agree with you. That’s why if he did leave the $12m on the table he should be applauded. It is a very selfless act that helps the team and the fans (assuming that $12m is put to good use).

        As to whether I could or not … hard to say. I would like to think that I would but who knows. At some point you have to wake up and realize that as a professional baseball player you have more money than you’ll ever know what to do with. Some things are more important than money. The guy has earned $50m over his career. I’m guessing that he won’t miss another $12m.

        • jphenix2002 5 years ago

          $12m is always missed, which is why its so impressive his pride is worth more to him than $12m

        • studio179 5 years ago

          “That’s why if he did leave the $12m on the table he should be applauded. It is a very selfless act that helps the team and the fans (assuming that $12m is put to good use).”

          Exactly. ‘Assuming’ is the key word. Let’s hope the Royals put money saved back into the team.

  10. I never really liked him as a pitcher but he seems like a competitor. Classy move not to leave the organization in a limbo. He has gained my respect all right.

  11. ieblue 5 years ago

    Wins are a useless stat, but it is kinda interesting to see that he’s going out with a record of 84-83.

  12. The royals got pretty lucky here, now that they get to spend that money on something else.

    • jhawk90 5 years ago

      Like the 12 mil they’re no longer paying Guillen? Greinke’s 13.5 mil? Dejesus 4.7? Farnsworth 4.5?

      If indeed they can write this off, they’re sitting at 50 million less than last year’s payroll. Thanks again for those stadium improvements Jackson County taxpayers!!!

    • bobrewer 5 years ago

      Plenty of former Braves that are still FAs. Go get ’em, GMDM!

  13. Exposfan 5 years ago

    Lot of respect for the guy. Despite having a huge paycheck, he decides to retire. He could had shut his mouth and get paied but being honest about itself and for the organisation, big props. Yes, he may find a way to collect a portion of his money here and there but nevertheless, class act.

    It’s not like Clemens who signed with the Yanks during mid-season to skip Spring Training.

  14. Sampsonite168 5 years ago

    If he still gets the $12M, I’d trade Oliver Perez for him.

  15. Here’s to hoping that Luis Castillo, Oliver Perez, Jason Bay, Carlos Beltran, and [why not] Bobby Bonilla all “retire.”

    • East Coast Bias 5 years ago

      You’re giving up on Beltran way too early dude.

      • Think he’s going to have an $18.5 million season? Because that’s what he’ll make regardless of his stats.

        • East Coast Bias 5 years ago

          That’s true, but you know how it works by now. You pretty much HAVE to pay a player large amounts in the latter years to get his prime years for your club.

          Worth 18.5m a year? No. But I don’t think he deserves to be in the same company as Ollie. Beltran will be productive. He was a 5 tool All Star caliber player only a few years ago. If he’s healthy, which all signs point to he is, then he will produce. Believe!

        • leberquesgue 5 years ago

          That’s not exactly fair. Blame Minaya for preferring back-loaded contracts. In 2006 Beltran was paid $13.6M for an 8.0 WAR season. Over the first 6 years of the contract he has 28.4 WAR; if wins are valued at $4M each*, then to reach the $119M total value of the contract he just needs 1.5 WAR more next season. Assuming he is fit again, there is every reason to suppose he will exceed that. Over the lifetime of the contract, it’s not such a bad deal.

          *I realise this is fluid, and I don’t know what it was in 2005 when the contract was signed, but hey, it’s an estimate.

          • RahZid 5 years ago

            FWIW, wins are now valued right around $5M. He very well may be at break even right now factoring in a linear increase in win value over the course of his deal. I’m not about to crunch those numbers though.

        • While Beltran likely won’t bring $18.5M worth of value on the field, there is a large Latin contingent that fill seats at Citifield and root for him. As far I know, that ballpark rarely sells out. Sure there is Jose Reyes and K-Rod but he’s the guy most respected. Even with his diminished skills, the presence of Beltran has value to the franchise.

  16. JerseyShoreShawn 5 years ago

    Royals will probably pay out 30-35% of the contract but not this year. He will be getting checks from the royals for 7-8 years probaby. Biggest benefit to KC in 2011 is freeing up the cash.
    P.S. I think the money is spent. They had to see this coming all winter.

  17. Meche thanked the Royals? The Royals should be thanking Mr. Meche.

  18. He’s only 32, why not give the surgery a go anyway. Stay retired if you don’t feel up to it afterward, but there’s plenty of time to play another few years if it goes well.

    • MoCrash 5 years ago

      He’s done and he knows it. He doesn’t want surgery, especially since the probability is low that it would work, and would prefer to take the money gotten and go back home and be with his children. The way Meche is walking away reminds me of when Koufax announced his retirement in 1966 (yes, I’m THAT old). [Wish Meche has performed like Koufax, but few are that gifted and it would have cost the Royals a lot more than $12m.]

  19. $6101468 5 years ago

    The contract is guaranteed so the money is his since the retirement is based on an injury for which there is substantial medical evidence. If the contract is insured that takes Royals off the hook. If not they may have a deferred agreement worked out.

  20. He should get the $12MM from Trey Hillman.

  21. wow, a player actually does an honorable thing…he’s probably not repped by Boras then

    • Infield Fly 5 years ago

      Truth!! Can I “Like” that twice?

      Way to go, man!

  22. Kolukonu 5 years ago

    That was a very honorable and respectful move he did for the organization. It certainly is a relief to know that there are still good guys out there in the sports arena, who do the right thing for the organization. When you sign that contract with guaranteed money, the fact that he forfeited the last year of it because he wasn’t healthy enough to do so is honorable.

    Carl Pavano should take notes.

  23. PushDown 5 years ago

    This guy is a class act. In the age where players drag out contract negotiations as long as possible and hometown discounts is ancient history, this dude actually saves his team the money and trouble of bringing him back. It doesn’t matter that he’s probably got more money than 12 mil or he probably won’t get the 12 mil, he’s doing the honorable thing by realizing his priorities and giving up the money makes it even more honorable. For everyone who’s saying this is nothing because Meche would not have made the 12 mil anyway, remember he could sit on the IR all year and pitch occasionally, and still earn that money. You try to give up millions in this day and age.

  24. Lunchbox45 5 years ago

    In other news Vernon Wells has decided to re work his contract to a 5 year/ 35 million dollar deal. . a parade is subsequently thrown in his honour.

  25. Nice of Meche. Royals will not spend a cent.

  26. optionn 5 years ago

    I doubt he gives up 12 million. The union wouldnt take kindly to players being that generous. Certainly he deserves a good chunk. Quietly settle this for 10 million and he can move on while still getting what he is entitled to.

  27. vtadave 5 years ago

    You guys obviously think more of your fellow man than I do. There is zero chance that Meche is leaving all, or even a large portion of that $12 million on the table. I’ll wait for the details (if they ever come), but I would imagine there was some sort of settlement, perhaps deferred money, etc.

    • Lunchbox45 5 years ago

      even still.. it can’t be for that much.. So sure he maybe will get 3 million to walk away

      but the fact remains he could have showed up for spring training asked for a bullpen spot and collected his 12 million

      Even better he could have shown up, said he heard a pop in his shoulder and hit the DL for surgery and recovered somewhere tropical with his family and a mountain of cash.

    • MoCrash 5 years ago

      So, in other words, you think Meche is flat-out lying when he said he wanted no settlement? Meche’s reputation in Kansas City is that of being a straight-shooter, but I guess guys like you and that ass-hat Kevin “Mizzou to Big 10″ Kietzman know a liar when you hear one.

      • vtadave 5 years ago

        Sorry that you took that post personal, but perhaps I’m a bit jaded these days regarding pro athletes. I’m sure there are a handful of stand-up guys and it sounds like Meche is one of them.

        Either way, I think he’ll survive.

  28. Wow, didn’t see that coming. Who’s the last player to leave that kind of money on the table…. Sandberg? No one could have faulted Meche for at least trying to pitch through the year given that he and the Royals both signed the guaranteed contract and insurance would have likely covered a good portion of it if he was unable to pitch. On the surface it seems like a stand up type decisions, doing what’s best….. I DO NOT believe Meche is doing what’s best for his family though. While he wouldn’t have been “earning” that money he certainly was legally entitled to it. Leaving it on the table when he could have put one more good year in to and then have helped set up his grandchildren and so on… I’d almost call it irresponsible. People will laud him for what he’s doing but he should have gone for security rather than respect, he’s got family to consider.

    • Scooter8080 5 years ago

      His family should be just fine living off the other $51MM he’s made in his career.

      • Yeah sure. But, figure %10 of it went to agent fees. So now he’s got roughly $45 million. Figure 50% of that goes to taxes. Now he’s down to $22.5 million. Surely he’s spent some on his lifestyle, homes, vehicles, vacations etc…. Even if he’s been reasonable in that regard you have to assume that he’s safely under $20 million in earnings (not including resale value on properties etc…) Anway, all that said is just another way of saying that by playing this year ($12m -$1.2m (fee) = $10.8m *.05 (tax) = $5.4 million. Assuming these numbers are even close we can see that adding another $5.4 million to his roughly $20 million in potential cash on hand is a 25% but in cash on hand. That can take care of a lot more than $20 million can, for future generations of his family, if it’s used correctly.

        • ^ *meant 25% bump in cash on hand.

          So anyway, for the lack of gutting it out for one summer he’s deciding to earn in the neighborhood of 20-25% less in real earnings. That’s a log of money.

    • Well he didn’t leave any guaranteed money on table, but Mussina walked away from potential millions a few years ago.

      • jphenix2002 5 years ago

        At the end of a lengthy career, and after he finally got 20 wins. It was a bummer to see the Yanks win it all the year after he left considering the whole reason he signed with them was to win a WS ring.

    • Infield Fly 5 years ago

      OMG! With only millions in the bank by now, I can only imagine how his family will have to scrimp and save to get by. We really should take up a collection for them to ease their suffering! >:)

      • East Coast Bias 5 years ago

        Hey man, don’t hate the playa, hate the game. It’s the system that’s messed up. Our country values its sports and movie stars to the point of paying them such exorbitant amounts. =/

        • Infield Fly 5 years ago

          No hatin’ here, hermano! 😀
          I just thought I’d have fun with @pageian’s comment because with all the people losing jobs, and the economy in the toilet the last few years…agonizing about how an[other] poor millionaire player failed to further fatten his bank account is so distasteful it’s funny!

    • BoSoxSam 5 years ago

      I think he’s got plenty of security already, bud. You know….all those OTHER millions he’s earned.

  29. Zach Grienke, Bruce Chen, Brian Bannister, Gil Meche, Anthony Lerew, Bryan Bullington, and Phil Humber.

    Collectively they made 100 starts for KC last year, and they’re all gone for 2011. Now that’s turnover!

  30. daveineg 5 years ago

    I just became a Gil Meche fan. It’s too bad, but most guys who are clearly no longer of major league caliber, usually hang around just to collect their pay. Hello Jeff Suppan.

  31. yankeeaddiction 5 years ago

    There may be more to it in the form of an opportunity that might not exist later on. former players who become television analysts make very good money. There are times when a player will have made more in 20 years as an analyst than in 20 as a player. If Meche has his eye on a spot with ESPN or FoxSports or the MLB Network and there is one open this year there is no guarantee it would stay open next year. Maybe he figures grab his chance at a TV job now while he can so he can continue making a very good living in the years to come.

  32. pascualperezfan 5 years ago

    another jp horrible so called win signing of a FA,,,,,,, as the jays former gm outbid everyone for this guy and jays /jp were top bidder for the pant load but lost out ( won out) as gil wanted to pitch for the jaggernaut royals vs jays,,,,,thanks jp and good riddance

  33. East Coast Bias 5 years ago

    On a somewhat related note, the Royals farm is pretty sick!

  34. goredsgo 5 years ago


  35. Dynasty22 5 years ago

    Classy move. I don’t think he’ll stay retired since he is only 32, but if he does, I’ll remember him as a decent pitcher who unfortunately underperformed for his contract. Good luck.

  36. dep258s 5 years ago

    That is just stupid if he doesn’t get his money. STOOPID I SAY.

  37. From Jon Paul Morosi: “…multiple sources told that Meche will indeed forfeit the $12 million salary he was going to receive from the Kansas City Royals this year.”

    link to

  38. MetsFanXXIII 5 years ago

    I have to commend him for his resolve. I gladly would have sat on the DL all year for $12 million.

  39. susasskuash 5 years ago

    Why does everybody think this is some great act by Gil Meche? This money only enriches Dan Glass and/or the for-profit business that is the Kansas City Royals. Royals’ fans do not benefit from this decision in any way. Only the owners and shareholders of the Royals receive this money. If he had arranged for his salary to go to charity or something like that then all the applause would be well deserved. But as far as we know, it’s not going to some benevolent cause, it’s just going into the Ownership’s bank account. I hope Meche is happier with whatever he is going to do in retirement than that $12 million would have made him, but I’m not going to praise him as a better human being because he left a millionaire that much wealthier.

    • Lunchbox45 5 years ago

      What does where the money goes matter to his decision??

      Its about being a man and realizing that you wouldnt be earning your paycheck and therefore wouldn’t feel right about accepting it.. Whether it goes to feed starving cats or to the KC Royals ownership makes no difference.

      • susasskuash 5 years ago

        It doesn’t matter to his decision. He should make the best decision for himself. Assuming he doesn’t get any of this money in some sort of buyout, he must think that whatever he does in retirement and whatever value he places on pitching his best are worth subjectively more to him than $12 million. Why does this make other people like the commentators on this board happy though? Why does this make it a good deed?

        I would be more willing to praise him if there was some effect of his decision beyond Meche not getting surgery and the Royals not paying out the $12 million. But that’s not happening. Ticket prices for Royal fans are not going down. Ownership has made no commitment to spend that money on draft picks or international signings. Orphans with diseases are not getting puppies to make them feel better. I hope Meche is happy with his decision. But I’m not going to make him out to be a saint for making a decision that will make him happier, just because that decision includes turning down a boatload of money.

        • Lunchbox45 5 years ago

          you’re missing the big picture.

          • susasskuash 5 years ago

            I think we disagree on what the big picture is. In my picture all professional sports are an entertainment business. This was a business decision between 2 parties to a contract. Meche’s decision is peculiar, but not altruistic or praiseworthy. What’s your big picture? What am I missing?

          • You’re missing that someone had enough morals that they weren’t willing to take something that they had entitled to them because they knew they weren’t earning it. Sorry if you couldn’t grasp that big picture.

          • jphenix2002 5 years ago

            Pride doesn’t matter to some people unfortunately. Financially speaking, some view it as worthless, while men like Meche view it as priceless.

          • MoCrash 5 years ago

            How much is peace of mind worth? To the valueless mephistopheleans who seem to dominate our entertainment, political and sports culture, it’s an unrecognizable ethic. To others, a man’s word is his golden. Meche agreed to pitch for four years for over $50m. He wasn’t able to do that and is disappointed, and unwilling to bilk the club which paid him handsomely and treated him with respect, felt it would be the right thing to do. Has mankind degenerated to the point where this is an alien concept?

  40. bluecop 5 years ago

    Rzepsniki showing his intellect. Wasted his time in KC as opposed to the repeat playoff teams Toronto had. Nice!!

    • alxn 5 years ago

      if you’re going to be proud about finishing in the cellar it may as well be for finishing in the cellar of the AL East

  41. Mario Saavedra 5 years ago

    way, WAY too Young to retire, he should have taken the surgery.

  42. I wish Kyle Davies would retire.

  43. AngelHater 5 years ago

    If only Eric Chavez had done this after the 06′ season…sigh

  44. What’s it feel like to be wrong?

  45. That lineup looks like one that could seriously compete for a AAA title.

  46. kcalltheway 5 years ago

    The Royals AA team would crush them… and any AAA team.

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