Shields said he was likely to retire last fall, but remained undecided as recently as January. He told Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times that he would play only if "a good deal in a good place" presented itself. Instead, the 35-year-old is ending his decade-long playing career.
Shields had consecutive disappointing seasons in 2009-10. He dealt with a sore elbow, underwent knee surgery and posted a 5.65 ERA in 63 2/3 innings over the course of his final two seasons. At his best, Shields helped define the Angels bullpen. He averaged 85 innings per season from 2004-08 with more than a strikeout per inning and a 3.11 ERA in that five-year stretch.