The writing was on the wall Monday when the 43-year-old was released by the Nationals, but this bit of news is worth passing along anyway.
According to the Montreal Gazette, Matt Stairs has officially retired from the game of baseball.
Stairs, a native of Canada, played for the Expos, Red Sox, A’s, Cubs, Brewers, Pirates, Royals, Rangers, Tigers, Blue Jays, Phillies, Padres and Nats during a 19-year major league career. He will hang up his cleats having posted a .262/.356/.477 lifetime batting line, 265 career home runs, 1,366 career hits and 899 career RBI. The well-traveled veteran also set the MLB record for most pinch-hit homers. All while possessing the body type of a casual softball player.
Stairs will take a bit of time off, but he told reporters that he might be open to coaching in the near future.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.