Bill Baer

DENVER, CO - JULY 21:  Starting pitcher Matt Harrison #54 of the Texas Rangers delivers to home plate in the second inning against the Colorado Rockies during Interleague play at Coors Field on July 21, 2015 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Phillies release Matt Harrison

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The Phillies have released pitcher Matt Harrison to open up a spot on the 40-man roster, Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports. Harrison had $15.2 million remaining on his contract, more than half of which will be covered by insurance, Salisbury notes.

Harrison, 31, hasn’t pitched since July 2015 due to ongoing back issues. The 2012 American League All-Star has made a total of nine starts since the start of the 2013 season. The Phillies agreed to take on the remainder of his contract to help facilitate the Cole Hamels/Jake Diekman trade last year in which they received five young players: Jerad Eickhoff, Jake Thompson, Jorge Alfaro, Alec Asher, and Nick Williams.

Joel Hanrahan retires

LAKELAND, FL - FEBRUARY 28: Joel Hanrahan #48 of the Detroit Tigers poses for a photo during the Tigers' photo day on February 28, 2015 at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Florida.  (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
Brian Blanco/Getty Images
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Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that reliever Joel Hanrahan is retiring. He’s the second reliever to retire tonight, joining Joe Thatcher. Nightengale adds that Hanrahan still hopes to be involved in baseball after retiring.

Hanrahan, 35, underwent Tommy John surgery in 2013 and again in 2015, but he couldn’t make it back. The right-hander was originally selected in the second round of the 2000 draft by the Dodgers and pitched in the majors over parts of seven seasons with the Nationals, Pirates, and Red Sox. Hanrahan saved 100 games with a 3.85 ERA and a 441/198 K/BB ratio in 404 2/3 career innings.

Joe Thatcher retires

HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 08:  Joe Thatcher #54 of the Houston Astros pitches in the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians at Minute Maid Park on April 8, 2015 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images
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Lefty reliever Joe Thatcher has retired after spending parts of nine seasons in the majors, Pedro Velazco of the Kokomo Tribune reports.

Thatcher, 35, pitched for the Padres, Diamondbacks, Angels, and Astros while also spending time in the Brewers’, Dodgers’, and Cubs’ minor league systems. He started his career in the independent league with the River City Rascals before the Brewers signed him in the summer of 2005.

Thatcher had a good sense of humor about his retirement, saying, “Yeah, I’m not Derek Jeter or Big Papi [David Ortiz] so there wasn’t a farewell tour or anything. I’ve decided to retire. It’s hard to say still and it hasn’t really sunk in yet that I’m a former big leaguer, but I’m happy with it, I’m comfortable with it.”