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Aaron Miles opts for retirement

Jun 13, 2012, 6:10 PM EDT

Aaron Miles AP

One of the ultimate underdogs, Aaron Miles put together a nine-year career in the big leagues after debuting at age 26. Now he’s opted to calling it a day, according to his Triple-A team, retiring at age 35.

After receiving 12 at-bats with the White Sox at the end of 2003, Miles was traded to the Rockies for Juan Uribe over the winter. It proved to be his big break. He became the Rockies’ primary second baseman and finished fourth in the NL Rookie of the Year balloting after hitting ¬†.293/.329/.368 with six homers and 47 RBI in 2004.

Miles spent two years with the Rockies and then three with the Cardinals, where his versatility made him a favorite of manager Tony La Russa. He turned in his best season in 2008, hitting .317/.355/.398 in 379 at-bats. All of those rate stats were career highs.

Unfortunately, that big year with the Cards made him too expensive to keep. The Cubs went on to sign him to a two-year, $4.9 million deal that proved to be a complete waste of money. He hit .185 in 157 at-bats in 2009 and was then sent packing, eventually to return to St. Louis.

Miles’ last hurrah came last year. An underdog to make the Dodgers out of spring training, he ended up getting 454 at-bats and hitting a respectable .275/.314/.346 with 45 RBI. Nevertheless, he wasn’t offered any big-league deals over the winter. He went on to re-sign with the Dodgers in May to play in Triple-A. His retirement comes after he hit .235 in 18 games for Albuquerque.

Standing just 5-foot-8 and listed at 160 pounds, Miles never really looked the part of a major leaguer. He wasn’t even really taken seriously as a utilityman initially because it didn’t look like he had the arm to play shortstop or third base. Miles, though, ended up playing in 932 games. He even started at shortstop 97 times. He also was the¬†preeminent mop-up man among position players over the last decade. Five times he pitched for the Cardinals, allowing two runs in five innings.

All in all, it was quite a career for a little guy without any real power (19 career homers) or speed (30 stolen bases). He made about $9 million in his nine years, and he probably has a future in coaching if he wants one.

  1. Brian Murphy - Jun 13, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    The scrappy hall of fame gains another member.

  2. stiefert - Jun 13, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    Good luck in your post MLB career Aaron. I enjoyed your time in St. Louis.

    • ajcardsfan - Jun 14, 2012 at 8:38 AM

      Agreed, whole-heartily

    • stlouis1baseball - Jun 14, 2012 at 10:35 AM

      Yeah…I am right there with you. He was steady. Definately somone you could count on to make the plays when needed. Just…steady. I enjoyed his time in a Cardinals uniform as well.

  3. hellmaca - Jun 13, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    Don’t forget about the time he attacked a criminal that was invading his home. I think it was during spring training. That’s a good story.

    • stiefert - Jun 13, 2012 at 6:56 PM

      I like him even more now!

    • thefalcon123 - Jun 14, 2012 at 9:30 AM

      It was actually at the hotel in which his teams were staying. He was held hostage during a standoff with police, and attacked the gunmen while there was an opening. They wrestled for the gun, the cops busted down the door and shot the robber while Miles was on top of him.

  4. Matt Wood - Jun 13, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    Reblogged this on Three Unassisted and commented:
    Aaron Miles! A retirement worth celebrating, if only because it lessens that chance he’ll be picked up by your team for an abortive playoff run.

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