Retirement Rumors

Quick Hits: Myers, Salty, Correa, Appel, Draft

Right-hander Brett Myers, who spent parts of 12 Major League seasons with the Phillies, Astros, White Sox and Indians, said in an interview with Section215.com that he’s enjoying retired life and believes that his playing days are likely over. Myers explained that over the final few years of his playing career, he missed spending time with his children, but he now is enjoying coaching his 10-year-old son’s baseball team. In his career, the former 12th overall pick posted a 4.25 ERA a 97-96 record, 40 saves, 7.3 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 1710 big league innings spent as both a starter and a closer. His playing days were also marred by off-field issues, including charges of domestic violence that were eventually dropped at his wife’s request, and an expletive-laced tirade aimed at a Phillies beat reporter whom he ultimately threatened with physical violence.

Some more notes from around the league…

  • Though Chris Iannetta has struggled tremendously with the bat in 2015, the Angels don’t consider Jarrod Saltalamacchia a fit, reports MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez. The 30-year-old Saltalamacchia cleared release waivers earlier today and is free to sign with any club. Gonzalez also adds that the Angels are hopeful that fellow catcher Drew Butera will clear waivers, giving them a chance to keep him in the organization following his recent DFA.
  • Astros GM Jeff Luhnow discussed the timelines for prospects Carlos Correa and Mark Appel with Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle, and Drellich notes that the 20-year-old Correa could very likely beat the 23-year-old Appel to the Majors. Luhnow acknowledged that Correa has a good chance of being promoted to Triple-A this month, once they see a bit more of how he reacts to facing teams and pitchers for the second time in Double-A. Appel, meanwhile, has struggled a bit at Double-A, and the GM said he’d like to see some consistently dominant outings from Appel before moving him up the Minor League ladder.
  • Brendan Rodgers of Florida’s Lake Mary High School is the first of three shortstops perched atop Keith Law’s list of Top 100 Draft prospects at ESPN.com (Insider subscription required and highly recommended, particularly for draft followers). Arizona’s Kevin Newman and Vanderbilt’s Dansby Swanson add a pair of college shortstops to the mix, while UC Santa Barbara righty Dillon Tate and prep lefty Kolby Allard round out the top five. Former No. 1 overall consideration Mike Matuella has dropped to 19th, as the Duke right-hander underwent Tommy John surgery earlier this spring. Last year’s No. 1 overall pick Brady Aiken sits 26th on Law’s list following his own Tommy John surgery.

Jeff Karstens Announces Retirement

Former Pirates and Yankes right-hander Jeff Karstens took to Twitter yesterday to announce that he has officially retired from the baseball.

Karstens, still just 32 years of age, hasn’t pitched in the Majors since 2012, as a series of shoulder injuries that culminated in 2013 surgery to repair the labrum and rotator cuff in his right shoulder slowed and ultimately ended his career.

Originally a 19th-round selection of the Yankees in 2003 out of Texas Tech, Karstens was traded to the Pirates along with Daniel McCutchen, Jose Tabata and Ross Ohlendorf in the 2008 trade that sent Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte to New York. In 2011-12, the San Diego-born Karstens made 41 starts and eight relief appearances for the Bucs, pitching to a solid 3.59 ERA with 5.8 K/9 and 1.7 BB/9 in 253 innings of work.

Though injuries prevented Karstens from stepping onto a Major League mound following that injury-shortened 2012 season, he was still able to pocket roughly $7.8MM over the life of a career that spanned parts of seven seasons. We at MLB Trade Rumors extend our best wishes to Karstens, as well his family and friends, as he enters his post-playing days.


Carlos Quentin To Retire

Mariners outfielder Carlos Quentin confirms that he will retire from the game, as Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports in a series of tweets. Quentin had been playing with Seattle’s top affiliate since inking a minor league deal, but left Tacoma last night.

Mar 10, 2015; Peoria, AZ, USA; San Diego Padres left fielder Carlos Quentin (18) looks on against the San Francisco Giants at Peoria Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Quentin, 32, has $8MM left on the deal that he originally signed with the Padres. San Diego shipped him to the Braves just before the start of the season, of course, as part of the salary swaps included in the Craig Kimbrel deal. Atlanta cut him loose in short order, eating the remainder of that contract.

The route being pursued currently would see Quentin retain his rights to that guaranteed money. Atlanta would have been able to earn some relief had Quentin continued playing, though that amount would not have exceeded the pro-rated portion of the Major League minimum salary.

The Mariners will technically grant Quentin his release, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (via Twitter), but that’s little more than semantics. Heyman notes that Quentin’s injuries will no longer allow him to play, which is the reason for his departure from Tacoma and his decision to retire.

The Mariners had hoped that Quentin would re-establish himself as a viable part-time bat, though obviously the team was not relying on that outcome and essentially took on no financial risk in signing him. Between 2008 and 2013, Quentin slashed a robust .260/.356/.503 with 136 long balls. But he has been slowed by injuries in recent seasons, making only 815 total plate appearances in that stretch.

Quentin confirmed in the press release that physical issues drove the decision to retire. “Over the past several days, it became clear to me that my injuries have taken too great of a physical toll for me to be able to perform at the level I expect from myself,” he explained.  “As a result, I believe it is the right time for me to walk away and to refocus my energy on the next chapter of my life with my family.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.



John Buck To Retire

Catcher John Buck is retiring in order to spend more time with his family, the Braves announced. The veteran backstop had been in camp with Atlanta but did not figure to make the Opening Day roster.

Buck, 34, has played in eleven big league campaigns, amassing over 4,000 plate appearances and 1,000 games behind the plate. His .234/.301/.398 batting line and 134 career home runs are solid numbers for a catcher. A sturdy defender, Buck was a stabilizing force who saw the majority of the catching reps for his team in eight separate seasons.

After coming up with the Royals, Buck had his biggest season in a one-year stint with the Blue Jays in 2010. That year, Buck slashed .281/.314/.489 and swatted a career-high twenty long balls — excellent production while catching 118 games.

Buck landed a three-year, $18MM pact with the Marlins before the 2011 campaign, but never quite got back to his All-Star form. In addition to the teams already named, Buck ultimately spent time with the Mets, Mariners, Pirates, and Angels


Heath Bell To Retire

Veteran right-handed reliever Heath Bell, 37, has decided to retire, he tells MLB.com’s Corey Brock. Bell had been in camp with the Nationals on a minor league deal until his release yesterday.

Though Bell says he felt good this spring and believed he could still contribute at the big league level, family considerations drove his decision. “My kids wanted me home,” he said. “What’s more important: my kids or the big leagues? I’ve already accomplished more than I ever dreamed of. Now it’s time to help them accomplish their dreams.”

Bell, who spent time in the bigs in parts of eleven seasons, will be remembered most for his stint with the Padres. Over five years in San Diego, Bell tossed 374 innings of 2.53 ERA ball while averaging 9.4 K/9 against 3.2 BB/9. In his three seasons as the club’s closer, Bell also racked up 134 saves.

While Bell never regained that form after signing a three-year deal with the Marlins before the 2012 season, there is little question that Bell had a productive overall career. In total, he worked to a 3.49 ERA and logged over 600 frames. Bell broke into the league with the Mets, and also spent time with the Diamondbacks and Rays.

Bell says he may eventually pursue coaching and/or broadcasting, but for now is looking forward to working with his 11-year-old son’s ballclub. He will have plenty of time to ponder his past and his future over the next few days, Brock notes, as Bell is already in the midst of a cross-country RV trip back to his home in San Diego.

MLBTR wishes Bell, and his family, the best of luck in their new endeavors.


Full Story | Comments | Categories: Heath Bell | Retirement

Dontrelle Willis To Retire

Left-hander Dontrelle Willis, who was in camp with the Brewers on a minor league deal, has informed the Brewers that he will retire, tweets MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy. A neck injury has slowed him this spring, and the former Rookie of the Year had yet to get into a game.

Willis beat out Scott Podsednik and Brandon Webb for the 2003 NL Rookie of the Year Award at the age of 21 and helped the Marlins to their World Series victory that season. In his first four years in the league, the “D-Train” turned in a strong 3.44 ERA with 6.7 K/9 against 2.8 BB/9. Though he reached the 200-inning mark for a third straight season in 2007, however, Willis’ ERA spiked to 5.17, and he was traded to the Tigers alongside Miguel Cabrera that winter. Willis’ career never got back on track after that point, however, as the southpaw worked just 199 innings over the 2008-11 seasons, pitching to a 6.15 ERA with more walks than strikeouts.

Since the 2011 season — the last that he pitched in the Majors, Willis has pitched for minor league affiliates of the Giants (twice), Reds, Orioles and Angels in addition to a pair of stints in the independent leagues. He’ll retire with a 4.17 ERA in 1221 2/3 Major League innings and over $40MM worth of career earnings, per Baseball-Reference.com. We at MLBTR wish Willis well in his post-playing days.


Shawn Camp Announces Retirement

Shawn Camp, who pitched 11 seasons in the Majors, announced his retirement today.  Camp worked in the bullpens of the Royals, Rays, Blue Jays, Cubs, and Phillies, topping 70 innings in four different seasons.  Camp pitched 541 career games in total, including an MLB-leading 80 for the Cubs in 2012.

“I would like to thank all the great organizations I had the privilege to play for during my career,” Camp said through a statement.  “I also had the opportunity to play for some tremendous managers and coaches as well as play alongside some extraordinary teammates. I have been a part of professional baseball for the past 17 years and it’s in my blood. As such, I’ll be looking to pursue other opportunities within major league baseball in the future.  Most importantly, as I transition to the next chapter, I will get to spend more time with my family who has supported me beyond belief over the past 17 years.”

Camp told me his ultimate goal is to be a pitching coach one day, but he’s open-minded to any opportunities that may come in.  He also has interest in working with young players in the minor leagues.


Juan Pierre Officially Retires

Veteran outfielder Juan Pierre has officially retired, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald tweets. Pierre did not play in 2014, so it comes as little surprise that he’s retiring.

The speedy Pierre racked up 614 stolen bases in parts of 14 seasons in the Majors and rarely struck out, finding ways to annoy opposing pitchers despite his lack of home-run power. He led his league in stolen bases three times and is currently 18th in career steals. (He’s also sixth in caught stealings for his career, with 203.)

For much of his career, Pierre was also a serious on-base threat, with six seasons with on-base percentages above .350. Pierre was a key member of the World Champion 2003 Marlins, swiping 65 bases that season before hitting .333/.481/.429 in the World Series against the Yankees.

Pierre finishes his career with a .295/.343/.361 line with the Rockies, Marlins, Cubs, Dodgers, White Sox, and Phillies, earning at least $57MM in the process, via Baseball Reference. Much of that came from a $44MM deal with the Dodgers signed prior to the 2007 season.


Jason Giambi Retires

Former American League MVP Jason Giambi has decided to formally retire from playing baseball, he told Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News. Giambi offered a lengthy statement thanking his family, agents, equipment providers, coaches, teammates and media for their role in his career. While the statement is too long for the purposes of this post, fans of Giambi can read it in its entirety in the linked article above.

Jason Giambi

The Giambino was sure to also thank fans that supported him throughout the ups and downs of his career (he reportedly admitted to a grand jury in 2003 that he did use performance enhancing drugs): “I want to thank the fans for being a part of this incredible journey. I especially want to thank the fans that gave me a second chance to let me show you the human being you see today.”

Giambi’s legacy will be somewhat tainted by that admission, but the numbers he put up over parts of 20 Major League seasons are impressive no matter how you slice them. In 8,908 career plate appearances, Giambi batted .277/.399/.516 with 440 home runs and 1,441 RBIs. Prior to today’s announcement, Giambi was also the active Major League leader in career walks, with 1,366, and he was worth about 50 wins above replacement per both Fangraphs and Baseball-Reference. He appeared on five All-Star teams, won two Silver Sluggers and had a pair of Top 5 MVP finishes — including a second-place finish in 2001 — in addition to his 2000 MVP honors.

Giambi was able to play through his age-43 season due in large part to not only accepting, but rather embracing a reduced role with the Rockies and Indians. The slugger was used primarily as a pinch-hitter in Denver and in Cleveland, but he relished the opportunity to mentor younger players and share his wisdom with the game’s next generation. That attitude and the manner in which he was accepted by his younger teammates has led many to believe that Giambi may one day be a big league manager. In fact, he was at one point in consideration to manage the Rockies prior to signing with Cleveland in the 2012-13 offseason, and Terry Francona has referred to Giambi as a “manager-in-waiting.”

We at MLBTR wish Giambi and his family happiness and the best of luck in his post-playing days.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.


West Notes: Dunn, A’s, D-Backs, Zobrist, Chavez, Alonso

Adam Dunn‘s agent, Brian Peters, tells Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (Twitter link) that Dunn is indeed retiring, as was widely expected. Dunn himself said that he would retire following the season back in August, though he created a bit of doubt when he backed off slightly and said, “That’s it, probably,” following the Athletics’ loss to the Royals in the AL Wild Card game. Dunn’s career was unique, to say the least, as he epitomized the “three true outcomes” player, homering 462 times while striking out in 28.6 percent of his plate appearances and walking in  15.8 percent of them. Just under half (49.9 percent) of Dunn’s career plate appearances ended in a long ball, a walk or a whiff, and he will enter the record books with a .237/.364/.490 batting line. Dunn hit 40-plus homers in six separate seasons, including five consecutive years — four of which finished with 40 on the dot (2005-08). The “Big Donkey” will be fondly remembered by many for his light-tower power — a skill that earned him more than $112MM throughout his career, per Baseball-Reference.com. MLBTR wishes Dunn and his family happiness and the best of luck in his post-playing days.

Here are a few notes on some of the game’s Western division clubs, including the final team for which Dunn played…

  • Athletics right-handers Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin are doubtful for Opening Day, tweets Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. That’s not a huge shock, given that both underwent Tommy John surgery last spring, though Parker, whose surgery was on March 25, would have seemed to at least have a chance at being ready. Oakland still has plenty of pitching depth, however, with Sonny Gray, Scott Kazmir, Jesse Hahn, Jesse Chavez, Drew Pomeranz, Chris Bassitt, Sean Nolin and Kendall Graveman all in the fold. Once Griffin and Parker are healthy, Oakland will have a plethora of MLB-ready rotation options, and only Kazmir is set to depart following the 2015 campaign.
  • Morosi also tweets that the Diamondbacks have received calls from the Orioles regarding their outfield depth. Baltimore is known to be looking for a left-handed hitting outfielder, and both David Peralta and Ender Inciarte would fit that description, Morosi notes. Peralta’s name has surfaced in trade talks already this offseason, as the Reds were said to be interested in him prior to acquiring Marlon Byrd. Moving Peralta would allow Arizona to shift Yasmany Tomas to the outfield rather than trying him at third base, as is the current plan, although first-year GM Dave Stewart specifically mentioned Peralta when discussing the club’s strengths shortly after his hiring.
  • Also from Morosi, the D-Backs have called the Blue Jays about Dioner Navarro, but talks haven’t advanced much to this point. Morosi noted last night that Arizona is working hard to acquire a catcher, as Tuffy Gosewich is the lone player on their 40-man roster with big league experience. Navarro is known to be available after the Jays inked Russell Martin to a huge five-year deal earlier this offseason.
  • The Giants tried to work out a deal to acquire Ben Zobrist from the Rays before he was dealt to Oakland, but San Francisco deemed Tampa’s asking price to be too high, tweets Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
  • The Mariners are one option for veteran outfielder Endy Chavez, tweets Heyman. Soon to be 37, Chavez remains on the free agent market on the heels of a season in which he batted .276/.317/.371 (99 OPS+, 97 wRC+). While Chavez has never brought much to the table in terms of offense, he’s graded out well from a defensive standpoint throughout his career (though defensive metrics have soured on him over the past two seasons).
  • Yonder Alonso tells Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune that he is 100 percent healthy after undergoing surgery to repair a torn tendon in his right wrist. Alonso says that he hasn’t been pain-free in his hands since he broke a metacarpal bone in his right hand when he was hit by a pitch on May 31, 2013. Padres GM A.J. Preller has indicated that first base is likely to be handled by some combination of Alonso, Tommy Medica and Will Middlebrooks, and Lin notes that perhaps a lower-pressure environment with more offensive threats throughout the lineup will help Alonso. Still, he notes, Alonso’s tenure with the Padres has been a disappointment to many. “I really thought he’d unleash some power,” a scout from another club tells Lin. “It’s been disappointing.”