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Gil Meche announces his retirement

Jan 18, 2011, 1:04 PM EDT

Gil Meche

This is kind of a shocker: Royals starter Gil Meche has announced his retirement.  This despite the fact that he has about $12 million left on his contract.

Of course Meche has had chronic shoulder trouble since 2009.  Much of it due, one presumes, to Trey Hillman absolutely grinding him into dust.  Rany Jazayerli has chronicled this, the most notorious example of which was Hillman sending Meche out for 121 pitches in a game in 2009 as Meche was suffering from dead arm and trying to overcome various ailments. Maybe Meche goes down anyway, but it was pretty inexcusable all the same.

That aside, Meche gave Kansas City their money’s worth for the first two years of the deal, putting up an ERA+ of 125 and 110, respectively, while pitching over 200 innings.  In the past two seasons Meche only made 43 appearances, 32 of which were starts. He had certainly lost effectiveness and velocity.  He apparently believes that it’s not coming back. Sad to see it end for Gil Meche, but it’s good to see someone comfortable enough with himself and his place in the game to where he can walk away like this.

Ask yourself, though: would you leave $12 million on the table like this? When you could simply hang around the team, sit in the dugout and collect the checks? Most of us would probably say that we couldn’t do that if we knew we couldn’t pitch anymore, but most of us would probably be lying.

Enjoy retirement, Gil.

  1. ngearhart1981 - Jan 18, 2011 at 1:07 PM

    Man, f*&$ Trey Hillman.

  2. BC - Jan 18, 2011 at 1:09 PM

    That’s too bad. Meche had some really really good stuff when healthy, threw the pi$$ out of the ball. Maybe he reconsiders in a year or so. I don’t think he’s that old.
    PS. Yeah, I have to do my thing – Trey Hillman is a chipwich.

  3. randomdigits - Jan 18, 2011 at 1:17 PM

    Right now I would sit on the bench and collect my money. Put 50 million into my bank account and give me various painful pitching related injuries and I very well might take my ball and go home.

  4. Panda Claus - Jan 18, 2011 at 1:22 PM

    Interesting that Meche at 32 calls it over rather than dealing with surgery or rehab in hopes of returning to better days. Then you’ve got Jamie Moyer who’s talking about rehabbing and coming back in 2012 so he can pitch at 50.

    Not saying either is right or wrong, just opposite sides of the spectrum. You’d have to think Meche has second thoughts about this down the line–comeback attempt or not.

  5. Adam - Jan 18, 2011 at 1:23 PM

    I’d take the 12 million and tell the Royals that I hope they had insurance for the contract. They knew the risks when they signed him.

    Out of curiosity, what are the rules regarding retiring during a contract? Let’s say he had 3 years left on his deal. If he changed his mind after a year would he still be bound by the contract or does it become void as soon as he retires?

    • sportsdrenched - Jan 18, 2011 at 1:37 PM

      I’m wondering about Adam’s question in relation to the Royals “rights” to Meche? I saw a tweet from BigLeagueStew that the Cubs should offer Gil the $12 Million.

      In Adam’s scenerio would the team have “first right of refusal” in such a situation?

    • ThatGuy - Jan 18, 2011 at 3:25 PM

      I believe its similiar to football where the team that he retired with still has the rights to that player should he come back and the original contract can just pick up where it left off.

  6. uyf1950 - Jan 18, 2011 at 4:31 PM

    Good for him. A very gutsy and classy act. Now here is a player that really left money on the table.

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