Burly backstop-turned-DH Evan Gattis confirmed that his playing career is now finished in an appearance on the 755 Is Real Podcast with The Athletic’s David O’Brien and Eric O’Flaherty (audio link; profanity warning). The 33-year-old says he’s “done playing” professionally.
This news was obviously expected. Gattis did not play in 2019 after wrapping up his tenure with the Astros. Last we heard, he was not seeking playing opportunities. His productivity waned in 2018, though surely Gattis would’ve caught on somewhere had he pursued a deal.
It’s sad to see Gattis depart the scene. His mythical emergence with the Braves as something of an everyman Paul Bunyan is one of the most interesting tales of contemporary baseball. After battling mental health issues and taking a prolonged detour, Gattis improbably returned to the game and carved out a six-year MLB career, slashing .248/.300/.476 with 139 career long balls.
While the main plot points of his personal story were already known, it’s quite another thing to hear Gattis humbly and thoughtfully narrate his epic tale. The above-linked podcast is highly recommended listening.