Retirement Rumors

Carlos Zambrano Announces Retirement

During a visit to Wrigley Field for today’s Pirates/Cubs game, veteran right-hander Carlos Zambrano told reporters (including’s Carrie Muskat) that he has retired.  He had been pitching in his native Venezuela last winter in the hopes of catching on with another Major League club, but it appears as though Zambrano has instead called it a career.

The “Big Z” retires with a 132-91 record, 3.66 ERA, 7.5 K/9 and 38.2 rWAR over 1959 innings in the bigs, with 11 of his 12 seasons spent with the Cubs and his final year (2012) spent with the Marlins.  (Zambrano also made four starts in the Phillies’ minor league system in 2013.)  He threw a no-hitter against the Astros in 2008 and his career achievements include three top-five finishes in NL Cy Young Award voting, three All-Star appearances and three Silver Slugger Awards.  That last honor was particularly well-deserved since Zambrano was one of the better-hitting pitchers in recent memory, posting a .238/.248/.388 slash line and 24 homers over 744 PA.

While slightly leaving the door open for a possible comeback attempt, Zambrano’s recent attempts at throwing didn’t work out.  “I was telling one of the [Cubs] scouts that I was playing catch the other day after five months, and I felt like I was throwing a rock,” Zambrano said.  “I think I’m going to stay home, see what happens next year. God has the last word.”

Zambrano, 33, was no stranger to controversy over his career, known for several confrontations with umpires and twice getting into dugout altercations with teammates (Michael Barrett and Derrek Lee).  The Cubs put him on the restricted list in August 2011, effectively ending his career in Chicago.

According to Baseball Reference, Zambrano made just under $114MM over his career.  We at MLBTR wish Zambrano a happy time in retirement.

Adam Dunn To “Probably” Retire After Season

MONDAY: Dunn kept the door slightly open for a 2015 return, telling Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter link) that he only said he will “probably” retire following the season.  He has no intention of continuing his career to chase the 500-homer mark unless he’s on a contending team.

SUNDAY: Adam Dunn says he will retire after the season, Bruce Levine of tweets. The news comes in the wake of the slugger being traded to Oakland, and comes as no great surprise — he’s in the last season of his $56MM contract, and he’s discussed the possibility of retiring before.

USATSI_7995765_154513410_lowresHe’s also 34, and his best days as a player seem to be behind him. He remains a prolific power hitter, with 20 home runs in 435 plate appearances this year, and he’s always drawn more than his share of walks. But his batting average has fallen to very low levels — he hasn’t batted above .220 since 2010. And his defense, while never good, has gotten so poor that he’s a liability anywhere other than DH, even considering his obvious offensive skills.

Nonetheless, Dunn will leave behind an impressive body of work, and his extreme homers/walks/strikeouts offensive game makes him an historically unique player. He has 460 career home runs (good for 36th all-time), including at least 38 in seven consecutive seasons from 2004 through 2010. He’s also drawn an impressive 1,311 walks in his career, fourth among active players (behind Bobby Abreu, Jason Giambi and Manny Ramirez). Of course, he’s been one of the game’s most frequent strikeout victims — five of his seasons are in the top 20 all time in strikeouts, and he ranks third all-time in whiffs, behind Reggie Jackson and Jim Thome.

Dunn made his mark on Major League pitching immediately, finishing fourth in NL Rookie of the Year voting in 2001 (despite only playing half the season in the bigs) and emerging as a poster boy for the sabermetric movement with his “Three True Outcomes” (homers, walks and strikeouts) offensive style. He then blossomed into one of the game’s most feared power hitters as an outfielder and then a first baseman with the Reds, Diamondbacks and Nationals.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eric Chavez Retires

Third baseman Eric Chavez has retired, effective immediately, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (Twitter link). The 36-year-old has seen time in 17 MLB seasons.

Chavez hit .246/.346/.449 in 81 plate appearances for the Diamondbacks this season, but hasn’t played since early June due to injury. He’s battled knee trouble this season and also has a long history of back issues.

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Arizona Diamondbacks

Of course, his best seasons came earlier in his career with the Athletics, when Chavez was among the game’s more productive players. Over the 2000-2006 time frame, Chavez compiled a .273/.352/.495 slash with 199 home runs. With outstanding defense, he was worth 31 rWAR and 31.1 fWAR during that stretch.

From that point forward, Chavez was limited by injuries, and never saw more than 400 trips to the plate in a season. But he remained a productive reserve, ultimately moving to the Yankees and then Diamondbacks.

It was no coincidence that the “Moneyball” Athletics made five postseason appearances in the time that Chavez was at his peak. Though he never quite delivered full value on a six-year, $66MM extension signed before the 2004 campaign, Chavez nevertheless was, in the aggregate, a cheap source of top-level production for Oakland after being taken 10th overall in the 1996 draft.

Chris Getz Retires

Second baseman Chris Getz, who was designated for assignment by the Blue Jays and outrighted to Triple-A Buffalo, has decided to retire rather than accept his outright assignment, reports MLB Daily Dish’s Chris Cotillo. He quotes Getz:

“I’ve enjoyed every minute that I’ve played and will always be passionate about the game. I’m starting a family, and I’m interested in other endeavors both inside and outside of the game.”

The 30-year-old Getz signed a minor league deal with Toronto this offseason after being non-tendered by the Royals last November but struggled in his 10 games with the Jays, hitting .160/.222/.200.

Getz spent the 2009 season as the primary second base option for the White Sox and posted a .261/.324/.347 batting line, delivering outstanding value on the basepaths that year and going 25-for-27 in stolen base attempts. He was afforded similar playing time with the Royals in 2011 and batted .255/.313/.287 with 21 steals in 28 attempts.

Overall, Getz’s big league career will come to a close with a .250/.309/.307 batting line in 1574 plate appearances. The former fourth-round pick stole 89 bases in 107 attempts, good for an 82 percent success rate. Between his $225K signing bonus out of the draft and his yearly salaries, Getz made more than $3.5MM in his big league career. MLBTR wishes Chris the best of luck in his post-playing endeavors.

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Matt Treanor Retires

Veteran catcher Matt Treanor has officially retired from his playing career, according to the Triple-A International League’s transactions page. MLBTR’s Zach Links has confirmed the news (Twitter link).

The 38-year-old Treanor signed a minor league deal with Cleveland this offseason but didn’t get into a game for the team’s Triple-A affiliate in Columbus as he dealt with a hamstring injury. After a setback in his rehab and with the birth of his first child nearing, Treanor has elected to spend time with his wife (three-time Olympic Gold Medalist Misty May) and child rather than pursue further rehab of the injury, according to Links.

In parts of nine Major League seasons between the Marlins, Rangers, Tigers, Royals and Dodgers, Treanor posted a .221/.313/.305 batting line and gunned down 26 percent of the baserunners who attempted to steal against him — highlighted by a league-leading 47 percent for the 2006 Marlins.

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Clay Hensley Retires

Pitcher Clay Hensley has retired, James Larken Smith of KFFE tweets. Hensley, 34, pitched in 2013 for Triple-A Nashville (Brewers) and Louisville (Reds), and for the Sugar Land Skeeters in the independent Atlantic League.

Hensley pitched parts of seven seasons in the big leagues, appearing with the Padres, Marlins and Giants with a 4.00 ERA, 6.5 K/9 and 4.2 BB/9 over 571 innings. 187 of those came with the Padres in 2006, when he had a solid first full season in a big-league rotation. He mostly appeared as a reliever after that, with his best season out of the bullpen coming with the 2010 Marlins, when he posted a 2.16 ERA with 9.2 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 in 75 innings.

Chad Tracy Retires

Veteran infielder Chad Tracy is retiring, Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports. The Angels had released him this spring.

Tracy played parts of nine seasons in the big leagues, including 2013, when he hit .202/.243/.326 in 136 plate appearances with the Nationals. Tracy finishes his career with a .274/.333/.439 line in 2,988 plate appearances. In addition to the Nats, he also played for the Diamondbacks, Cubs and Marlins. He hit 27 homers with Arizona in 2005, then 20 more the following season.

Chris Snyder Retires

Catcher Chris Snyder has retired, Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest tweets. Snyder had been playing for Triple-A Round Rock.

Snyder played for ten seasons in the big leagues, collecting 2,459 at bats and finishing with a career line of .224/.328/.382. The Diamondbacks drafted Snyder in 2002, and for several years, he shared Arizona's catching duties with Miguel Montero. In 2010, the Pirates acquired Snyder (and Pedro Ciriaco) for D.J. Carrasco, Ryan Church and Bobby Crosby, and Snyder spent an injury-plagued season and a half with Pittsburgh.

Snyder played in 76 games with the Astros in 2012, and spent a short time with the Orioles in 2013, playing for much of the season in Triple-A. The Rangers signed him in March after losing Geovany Soto to injury, but have gone with J.P. Arencibia and Robinson Chirinos at the big-league level since then.

Jason Bartlett To Retire

Infielder Jason Bartlett has told the Twins he will retire, reports Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (Twitter links). Though the club has asked him to reconsider, says Berardino, the expectation is that he will file his papers.

Bartlett had been working on a rehab assignment with Minnesota after making the club's Opening Day roster. Though he only saw four plate appearances this year, he did manage to appear in the outfield for the first time in his career.

Over parts of ten MLB seasons, spent almost entirely at shortstop, Bartlett put up a .270/.336/.366 line with 31 home runs and 123 stolen bases. He spent time as a regular up the middle with the Twins, Rays, and Padres organizations. His best season at the plate came in 2009 with Tampa, when Bartlett knocked 14 long balls and swiped 30 bags while registering a surprising .320/.389/.490 triple-slash. With his usually strong defense, that campaign was worth 6.2 rWAR. (He also had a 4.6 rWAR season in 2007 with Minnesota.) Bartlett delivered good value for his employers in the aggregate, as he put up 18.4 lifetime rWAR and had career earnings of $16.6MM.

Athletics Release Joe Blanton

TUESDAY: Blanton has been released by the Athletics, tweets Chris Cotillo of 

SUNDAY, 9:57pm: Fletcher now clarifies that Blanton has left the Athletics' Triple-A team, but it's unclear whether he's actually retiring.

USATSI_73481628:56pm: Longtime starting pitcher Joe Blanton has retired, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register tweets. Fletcher notes that the Angels are still on the hook for the remainder of Blanton's $7.5MM salary for 2014, plus a $1MM buyout for 2015, even though Blanton has started two games for the Athletics' Triple-A team in Sacramento this year. The Angels released Blanton in March.

The Athletics drafted Blanton out of the University of Kentucky with the 24th pick in the first round in 2002, making him the second selection in their "Moneyball" draft class, after Nick Swisher. Blanton made his big-league debut in 2004, then became a regular in the A's rotation in 2005. After several years eating innings in Oakland, Blanton headed to Philadelphia for Josh Outman and two other prospects in 2008. Blanton pitched in the World Series for the Phillies in both 2008 and 2009, and the Phils signed Blanton to a three-year extension prior to the 2010 season. He stuck with the Phillies until 2012 before they traded him to the Dodgers for the stretch run that year.

Blanton then signed an ill-fated two-year, $15MM deal with the Angels, struggling while posting a 6.04 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 132 2/3 innings last season. Blanton, 33, finishes his career with a 4.51 ERA, 6.2 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 1,567 1/3 innings.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.