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.


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118 Comments on "Gil Meche Announces Retirement"


Sniderlover
4 years 7 months ago

Woah… did he just leave 12 million?

rzepczynski
4 years 7 months ago

12,400,000

rzepczynski
4 years 7 months ago

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

MFH
4 years 7 months ago

Pretty sure he was a lock for these things..

MoCrash
4 years 7 months ago

You’re right. It was guaranteed money.

4 years 7 months ago

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.

4 years 7 months ago

Here you go: link to fangraphs.com

4 years 7 months ago

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

4 years 7 months ago

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.

4 years 7 months ago

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?

Ballspaldin
4 years 7 months ago

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

Rabbitov
4 years 7 months 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.

4 years 7 months ago

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

Infield Fly
4 years 7 months 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
4 years 7 months ago

How about what Pavano gave the Yanks?

Infield Fly
4 years 7 months 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”….
:p

davros42
4 years 7 months ago

Good, meaty story here. Lots of detail.

stl_cards16
4 years 7 months 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
4 years 7 months ago

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

stl_cards16
4 years 7 months ago

100% agree!

rzepczynski
4 years 7 months ago

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

atomicme123
4 years 7 months ago

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

4 years 7 months ago

People forget how good he was until Hillman ruined his arm.

4 years 7 months ago

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.

4 years 7 months ago

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

qbass187
4 years 7 months ago

Wow!

yankeeaddiction
4 years 7 months 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.

4 years 7 months ago

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
4 years 7 months 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).

sigfraud
4 years 7 months 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.

MLB_in_the_Know
4 years 7 months ago

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

twenty1thirteen
4 years 7 months ago

Spend it on the draft!

4 years 7 months ago

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

4 years 7 months ago

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
4 years 7 months ago

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

4 years 7 months ago

I was talking about the Pirates, according to this article.

link to mlbtraderumors.com

Anyway, it’s a sound strategy IMHO, either way.

4 years 7 months ago

Well, they still need to sign Billy Butler.

MoCrash
4 years 7 months 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
4 years 7 months ago

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

bjsguess
4 years 7 months 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
4 years 7 months ago

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

mboss
4 years 7 months 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
4 years 7 months 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
4 years 7 months ago

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

studio179
4 years 7 months 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.

4 years 7 months ago

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.

ieblue
4 years 7 months ago

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

4 years 7 months ago

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

jhawk90
4 years 7 months 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
4 years 7 months ago

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

Exposfan
4 years 7 months 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.

Sampsonite168
4 years 7 months ago

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

4 years 7 months ago

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

East Coast Bias
4 years 7 months ago

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

4 years 7 months ago

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
4 years 7 months 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
4 years 7 months 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
4 years 7 months 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.

4 years 7 months ago

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.

JerseyShoreShawn
4 years 7 months 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.

4 years 7 months ago

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

4 years 7 months ago

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
4 years 7 months 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.]

$6101468
4 years 7 months 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.

4 years 7 months ago

yes it’s guaranteed, unless the player retires!!

4 years 7 months ago

He should get the $12MM from Trey Hillman.