Not so long ago Ian Snell was a promising young starter for the Pirates, throwing 208 innings with a 3.76 ERA and solid 177/68 K/BB ratio as a 25-year-old in 2007.
Unfortunately it’s been all downhill since then, as Snell pitched his way out of Pittsburgh and then failed to resurrect his career in Seattle, where he was paid $4.3 million to go 0-5 with a 6.41 ERA in 46 innings last year.
Snell had to settle for a minor-league contract with St. Louis this winter and today the Cardinals reassigned him to minor-league camp, at which point Snell announced his retirement at age 29.
Snell has lost about 1.5 miles per hour off his fastball compared to his peak, but still throws in the low-90s and certainly could have struck around for a few more seasons at Triple-A waiting for another shot in the majors. Of course, he’s already earned nearly $10 million and isn’t even 30 years old yet, so it’s tough to blame him too much for calling it a career.