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.
Twins right-hander Phil Hughes is headed to the Padres, according to announcements from both teams on Sunday. The Padres will also receive the 74th overall draft pick and cash considerations from the Twins, who are getting minor league catcher Janigson Villalobos in return. Minnesota is expected to absorb $7.5 million of Hughes’ $22 million contract; per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, they’ll take on his remaining salary for the 2018 season and pay an additional $5.7 million in 2019.
Hughes, 31, is far from the 16-win, sub-4.00 ERA hurler the Twins enjoyed in 2014. He hasn’t pitched more than 60 innings in any season since 2015, due in part to multiple bouts of back stiffness and shoulder surgeries. He was designated for assignment last week after missing significant time with a left oblique strain and delivering a 6.75 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 6.0 SO/9 through his first 12 innings of 2018.
Villalobos, meanwhile, will provide the Twins with some depth as he continues to work his way through the minor league system. The 21-year-old backstop recently completed a circuit with the Padres’ rookie-level affiliate in the Arizona League, slashing .275/.367/.388 with eight extra bases and a .755 OPS in 98 PA.
The real get for the Padres isn’t Hughes (even with much of his salary already accounted for), but the Competitive Balance B selection in next week’s amateur draft. As MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell points out, the club lost their second-round pick after inking Eric Hosmer to a massive eight-year, $144 million deal back in February.