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.
The Giants have acquired infielder Eduardo Nunez from the Twins in exchange for minor league pitcher Adalberto Mejia, Sarah Crabill/Getty Images.
Nunez, 29, went 0-for-4 in Thursday night’s game against the Orioles. He’s hitting .296/.325/.439 with 12 home runs, 47 RBI, 49 runs scored, and a league-best 26 stolen bases in 391 plate appearances this season. Nunez has played mostly at shortstop this season, but has also logged significant time at third base and a handful of games at second base, so he’ll give the Giants some versatility.
Nunez will likely play a lot of third base for the Giants as Matt Duffy is still sidelined with a strained left Achilles. He’s earning $1.475 million this season and will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility heading into 2017.
Mejia, 23, was considered the Giants’ seventh-best prospect by MLB Pipeline. He earned a promotion to Triple-A Sacramento last month after posting a 1.94 ERA with Double-A Richmond. In seven starts with Sacramento, he has a 4.20 ERA with a 43/11 K/BB ratio in 40 2/3 innings.
Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY reports that the Mariners have received “strong” trade interest for starter Taijuan Walker. The right-hander is currently on the mend from tendinitis in his right foot. He’ll throw a bullpen on Friday at Wrigley Field with scouts in attendance.
Walker, 23, has a 3.66 ERA with an 80/18 K/BB ratio in 86 innings this season. It’s his first bit of sustained success at the major league level. What’s arguably just as intriguing is the fact that Walker will be under team control through 2020.
The Mariners have been hovering around .500 for the last month and entered Thursday six games behind the first-place Rangers in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot, behind three other teams as well as the two Wild Card leaders. It’s enough uncertainty which could push the Mariners to sell.