Longtime major league pitcher Jake Westbrook has announced his retirement from baseball, according to a report from Rob Rains of STLSportsPage.com. Westbrook originally had the intention of playing next season, but told Rains that he was not offered an opportunity that warranted a return.
"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 said. "I was kind of 50-50 on whether I wanted to play anyway. I’m good with the decision.
"I’m excited about the next part of my life and that’s being home with the kids and my wife Heather and spending time with them and going to all of the things I haven’t had a chance to do over the last 18 years in the spring and summertime. Being home is going to be fun."
Westbrook, 36, was 7-8 with a 4.63 ERA in 21 games (19 starts) with the Cardinals last season, his thirteenth in the majors. St. Louis declined his $9.5MM option for 2014 and opted to pay him a $1MM buyout, but he was unable to draw significant interest in free agency.
In his thirteen-year major league career with the Yankees (2000), Indians (2001-2008, 2010) and Cardinals (2011-2013), Westbrook posted a lifetime 105-103 record and 4.32 ERA in 1,747.2 innings of work. He was named to the American League All-Star team in 2004, and won a World Series with the Cardinals in 2011.