Casey Blake is retiring

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When you’re 38 years-old, you get released at the end of March and your phone barely rings between then and the middle of May, well, you’re probably not too far away from retirement.  That’s the boat Casey Blake found himself in this spring, so he’s calling it a career:

Major League Baseball veteran Casey Blake said today that he officially has decided to retire, despite starting spring training with the Colorado Rockies and fielding recent interest from the Texas Rangers.

Blake told the Des Moines Register that he has been leaning toward retiring, but stopped short of a decision until now.

“My wife (Abbie) has been telling people I’m retired, but I’ve kind of been giving her a look,” said Blake, 38, who has played parts of 13 seasons in the majors with five teams before attempting to make the roster this season with Colorado.

“But I think I knew in my heart that I am (retiring), but I just haven’t announced it.”

The women always know first.

Blake didn’t have a regular gig in the majors until he was 29, but he made the most of a late start, spending eight years, more or less, as a starting third baseman with a little time in the outfield. For his career he hit .264/.336/.442, which was good for an OPS+ of 107.

Mets sign Matt Purke to minors deal

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The Mets signed left-hander Matt Purke to a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Purke will also receive an invitation to spring training, where he could presumably beef up the club’s left-handed relief options alongside Jerry Blevins and Josh Smoker.

Purke has not appeared in the majors since 2016, when he was used in a dozen relief appearances by the White Sox. The 27-year-old racked up a 5.50 ERA, 6.0 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 in his first 18 innings with the team, and was demoted to Triple-A Charlotte in June to finish out the season. He spent the entire 2017 season in Triple-A as well, showing more promise with a 3.84 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 in 48 appearances.

While Purke may not amount to much more than a depth piece in New York’s ‘pen, the veteran lefty figures to be part of the Mets’ new bullpen-first strategy next year. Reports from MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo indicate that the club will be focusing on improving their relief options in order to ease the workload of their starting pitchers, and will likely add a few more arms before the offseason comes to a close.