Longtime major league reliever Hector Rondon retired earlier this month, Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com relays. Rondon had been with the Red Sox on a minor league contract, though he didn’t earn a promotion to MLB this season.
The right-handed Rondon appeared in the majors in each season from 2013-20 – an eight-year run he divided among the Cubs, Astros and Diamondbacks. Rondon experienced his greatest success in Chicago, which added him as a Rule 5 pick from Cleveland in December 2012. Rondon went on to pitch his first five seasons as a member of the Cubs, with whom he recorded a 3.22 ERA, posted a 24.9 percent strikeout rate against a 6.8 percent walk rate, logged a grounder percentage of 48.0, and piled up 77 saves. He amassed 50-plus innings in each of his seasons with the Cubs, including 51 in their World Series-winning 2016 campaign.
Rondon’s fruitful Cubs tenure came to an end when the Astros signed him to a two-year, $8.5MM guarantee going into 2018. He delivered typically strong results during the first year of the deal before fading somewhat in the second season. The Astros didn’t bring back Rondon, who inked a $3MM deal with the Diamondbacks last year. After Rondon slumped to a career-worst 7.65 ERA across 20 innings in 2020, the Diamondbacks declined his $4MM option in favor of a $500K buyout. He spent time with the Phillies on a minors deal before his brief stint with the Boston organization.
While Rondon’s career didn’t end well, the 33-year-old was a reliable and durable arm overall. He’ll hang up his cleats having pitched to a 3.49 ERA with 92 saves and 63 holds in 436 innings. MLBTR congratulates Rendon on a quality career and wishes him the best going forward.