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Diamondbacks’ Brad Ziegler announces retirement

The sidearming right-hander is hanging up his cleats after 11 big-league seasons.

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Diamondbacks reliever Brad Ziegler is retiring, as he announced in a lengthy Twitter post on Wednesday morning:

Ziegler, who turned 39 on Wednesday, was set to hit free agency this offseason after finishing up a two-year, $16 million contract that he signed with the Marlins in December 2016, though he ended up being dealt to the D-Backs at the deadline this year.

Clearly, Ziegler covers a lot of the details in the post above, but the bottom line is that he was one of the most consistent, durable right-handed relievers in the majors over his 11-year big-league career — an impressive feat for a guy who didn’t debut until he was 28 years old. He posted an ERA over 4.00 in just one of those 11 seasons (2017 with the Marlins), a nearly unheard-of feat for a guy who spent such a large portion of his career as a middle reliever. With his funky motion, he consistently gave fits to right-handed batters in particular, holding them to a .233/.285/.299 slash line (a .585 OPS) over 1,746 career plate appearances. And he did work his way into several closing opportunities, collecting 105 career saves, including a career-high 30 with the Diamondbacks in 2015.

Ziegler, who played for the Athletics and Red Sox in addition to the Marlins and his two stints with the D-Backs, finishes with a 2.75 career ERA and a 1.26 WHIP over 739 games. He was effective until the end, too, posting a 3.91 ERA and 1.30 WHIP over a majors-high 82 games in 2018.