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Jake Westbrook is retiring

Feb 14, 2014, 2:44 PM EDT

westbrook getty Getty Images

Jake Westbrook was pulled from the Cardinals’ rotation down the stretch and had his $9.75 million option for 2014 declined, and now the 36-year-old right-hander is retiring after 13 seasons in the majors.

Westbrook broke the news to local reporter Rob Rains, saying: “The interest that I was getting wasn’t significant enough for me to go through the grind of another year and be away from my family.”

Westbrook walked more batters (50) than he struck out (44) in 117 innings last season and hasn’t posted a better than average ERA since 2007, but he also never had a truly terrible season during that time and was generally a decent innings-eater.

He finishes with a 105-103 record and 4.32 ERA in 1,748 innings for the Indians, Cardinals, and Yankees, including four 200-inning campaigns and one trip to the All-Star game in 2004. Oh, and more than $70 million in career earnings.

  1. sfm073 - Feb 14, 2014 at 2:56 PM

    Congrats and enjoy your life.

  2. butchhuskey - Feb 14, 2014 at 3:06 PM

    Seems like a lot of players are retiring this offseason.

    • beefytrout - Feb 14, 2014 at 3:14 PM

      More players are retiring than are in the best shape of their lives, that’s for sure.

  3. fearlessleader - Feb 14, 2014 at 3:15 PM

    Thanks for all the innings and for being a good guy, Jake. And you’ll always be able to say that you got the W in one of the most exciting World Series games ever played.

    • 78mu - Feb 14, 2014 at 5:36 PM

      Westbrook was never going to make us forget Bob Gibson (as if anyone could) but he deserves all the kudos in the world from Cardinal fans for getting the Rangers out in the last inning of game 6.

      The amazing thing about the Cardinal pitching that night is the Garcia, Lynn and Motte all gave up earned runs while Salas, Westbrook, Dotel and Zep gave up no earned runs.

      So which pitchers are still on the team and which ones were shown the door?

      • paperlions - Feb 15, 2014 at 9:01 AM

        All very true….but to answer your question, the pitchers with more skill and that maintained better performance are still around and those that didn’t (or in Dotel’s case, was a 38 yr old FA) are gone. Sentiment is nice, but one game is no basis to make roster decisions.

  4. mdredbird - Feb 14, 2014 at 3:41 PM

    Thanks for your time as a Cardinal, Jake. Though you weren’t one of the splashiest pitchers in the rotation, you were a pretty solid innings eater. And as fearlessleader noted, many thanks for your contributions in Game 6. Best of luck in your future endeavors.

  5. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Feb 14, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    Can we suspend the 5 year rule and just induct him to the Hall of Fame now? Also, I wonder what gift he will get from the Dodgers? They have some serious cash so it had better be nice.

    • oldschoolnflman - Feb 14, 2014 at 5:52 PM

      He has more credentials than Biggio. There got that in see you guys tomorrow.

    • 78mu - Feb 15, 2014 at 12:58 AM

      He can’t go into the HOF yet – he still has be signed by the Reds. Walt will call him as soon as he finishes negotiations with Tyler Greene.

  6. stex52 - Feb 14, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    Lesson #1 kids – Why being just average in the MLB for a lot of years is a good thing. I can think of 70 million reasons.

    And this is in no way a rip at Westbrook. Quite the contrary. Average at that level is quite good. 70 million kinds of good.

    • gibbyfan - Feb 14, 2014 at 4:14 PM

      Pretty awesome reality ball payers live in when just average and 70 million go together.

    • raysfan1 - Feb 14, 2014 at 5:27 PM

      Average at the MLB level is pretty awesome indeed. Something like 3,000,000 kids play little league ball each year. With 1200 players on 40-man rosters, making any team’s roster puts a player pretty solidly into the top 1/10th of 1% of all ballplayers at any level.

  7. Kevin Gillman - Feb 14, 2014 at 9:08 PM

    Thank you Jake for your contributions for the Indians after the Yankees trade.

  8. rcali - Feb 16, 2014 at 12:04 AM

    So $9 million wasn’t enough to convince him to “grind” out 25 – 30 games? Wow, slap in the face to all of us.

    • cardsfan65 - Feb 16, 2014 at 10:27 AM

      Jake did not turn down the 9.75 mil. The team turned down his option so he basically became a free agent and the Cards bought out his contract.

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