Jeff Suppan Retires

Veteran right-hander Jeff Suppan has announced his retirement after 17 seasons in the Major Leagues.  Jon Heyman of CBS Sports has the background on the announcement, which was timed for exactly 4pm CT today in honor of Suppan's late mother, who died at that exact time six years ago.

Suppan, who turned 39 years old today, was originally taken by the Red Sox in the second round of the 1993 amateur draft.  He pitched for seven teams (the Red Sox, Diamondbacks, Royals, Pirates, Cardinals, Brewers and Padres) over his 17-year career, amassing a 4.70 ERA, 4.9 K/9, 1.6 K/BB rate and 45.9% ground ball rate.  Beyond the counting stats, Suppan was also a durable innings-eater for virtually every rotation he joined; the righty averaged 204 IP per season from 1999-2007, including a career-best 218 1/3 IP with Kansas City in 2001.

Suppan collected a World Series ring with St. Louis in 2006, and it's very likely the Cards wouldn't have won that title without Suppan's contributions.  He limited the Mets to just one run over 15 innings in two NLCS starts, a performance that earned Suppan the NLCS MVP award.  Suppan battled injuries later in his career and spent his last three seasons in pro ball on minor league contracts with the Giants, Royals and Padres. 

According to Baseball Reference, Suppan earned $58.125MM in his career, the bulk of which came via a four-year, $42MM contract he signed with Milwaukee following the 2006 season.

34 Responses to Jeff Suppan Retires Leave a Reply

  1. vtadave 2 years ago

    Oh boy…here come the “I thought he retired five years ago” posts.

  2. Tko11 2 years ago

    Made nearly $60 million being a below average pitcher, great career indeed. (Career ERA 4.70 in 2542 innings)

    • Karkat 2 years ago

      In 2000, he had an ERA+ of 103 with a 4.94 ERA pitching for Kansas City.

      In 2013, Jeremy Guthrie had an ERA+ of 102 with a 4.04 ERA pitching for Kansas City.

      The game has really changed o.o

      EDIT: For further contrast, note that in 2000, David Wells had an ERA+ of 123 with his 4.11 ERA (compared to Guthrie), and CC Sabathia’s 4.78 ERA this season was only good for an ERA+ of 85 (compared to Suppan)

      • JaysFan1996 2 years ago

        “Steroid Era” more like Steroid ERA

        • Tko11 2 years ago

          And when you look at Pedro Martinez’s “Steroid ERA+” its that much more incredible. In 2000 he had a 291 which is the 2nd highest ever trailing only Tim Keefe who had a 293 in 1880. Keefe only pitched 105 innings that year though.

    • Jeffy25 2 years ago

      97 ERA+ is above average for a starting pitcher.

      He was solid enough.

      Thanks Jeff for the production while in Stl….

  3. start_wearing_purple
    start_wearing_purple 2 years ago

    Gotta say it… so, Soup’s off?

  4. Joe Orsatti 2 years ago

    It’s amazing in itself how he lasted 17 years and made over 50 million with a career 4.70 ERA.

    • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 2 years ago

      It is surprising but he pitched in an era where wins/loss record mattered a lot and he had a winning record for 10 of his first 15 seasons in the MLB.

    • jed_hoyer 2 years ago

      amazing how many sarcastic comments about his stats.are made by people who couldn’t even crack rookie ball

      • shysox 2 years ago

        So using that logic, only baseball players can criticize other baseball players?

      • shysox 2 years ago

        Also, it wasn’t a sarcastic comment.

  5. chad 2 years ago

    Game 3 NLCS 2006 dinger

  6. MB923 2 years ago

    I wonder if he gets a HOF vote like Aaron Sele did.

  7. WazBazbo 2 years ago

    Wow, not a lot of love for the guy here! The man figured out a way to stay in the majors for seventeen YEARS, not to mention make $58 million bucks living a dream. If somebody had come to me when I was in my early 20s and offered me all that with the caveat that “you have to retire with a 4.70 ERA,” I think I’d take the deal…

  8. disadvantage 2 years ago

    Time to start immitating Paco Rodriguez’s delivery.

  9. bryce1344 2 years ago

    Suppan was a decent pitcher who made the most of his talents. If the majority of players could say that the game would be much better off.

  10. mwilson_0365 2 years ago

    Hated by every Brewers fan like myself

    • Curt Green 2 years ago


      Edit: Oh, I see why. $42 million for 29 wins.

    • BENT_WOOKIE 2 years ago

      hated for what? from his starts it looks like he was reasonably healthy. he can’t help the contract he got. blame management, not the player.

      • Hated because no Brewers fan thought it was a good signing from the beginning. The money and years were far more than he deserved based on prior performance. He was also a Cardinal.

        • BENT_WOOKIE 2 years ago

          trust me I understand, I’m a cubs fan. I didn’t understand the signing at the time either. but like I said, you fault management, not the player. do you really fault him for taking every dollar the GM offered and the owner gave the thumbs up to?

          • “Hated” is certainly too strong a word and wasn’t one I would have chosen on my own. He actually has a great reputation in Milwaukee and elsewhere as a genuinely nice guy and strong contributor to charity.

            I’d add that I don’t think anyone is arguing that it was somehow wrong for him to have signed the contract as you seem to be inferring. (We’re talking baseball, not personal relationships or grudges.)

    • First Bleed 2 years ago

      All I think of is when Ned Yost said post game ‘Soup pitched great!’. And the 10 million the Brewers gave him after his release.

  11. Michael 2 years ago

    Major player on the ’04 Cardinals. Can’t take that away from him.

  12. Sonny Peyton 2 years ago

    thanks for 2006, jeff. the cards were lucky to have that post season performance from you.

  13. Jack Conness 2 years ago

    I don’t know why but I love how baseball players make a ridiculous amount of money. People talk about how great the NFL is and yada yada yada but those guys’ careers don’t last long and they don’t make that much money compared to baseball. I am not trying to bash Suppan here but he was no baseball superstar, yet he racked in about $60 million in his career. Incredible. Good for him! And go baseball!

  14. Jeff Weissbuch 2 years ago

    He stole the money lol from the Brewers

  15. I am only sad about this because the chances that one of my favorite teams will face him as an opponent have dwindled from slim to none. Apropos of nothing, has Zito signed anywhere yet?

  16. SDF 2 years ago

    I knew Jeff Suppan. Great man very good pitcher. He made a difference on teams and in the community. Maybe we should be celebrating that instead of finding things to critique?

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