Free-agent starting pitcher Ted Lilly has decided to retire from his playing career, he told a Venezuelan newspaper. He had been trying to re-establish his value in the Venezuelan Winter League, but has been unable to get healthy.
Lilly, 37, had a neck procedure to help with a nerve issue earlier this month for relief from the neck injury that held him to just five starts in 2013. After he was released by the Dodgers in August, the Giants were set to sign him to a minor-league deal, only to decide against it once viewing his medicals.
So this decision shouldn't come as much of a surprise. Lilly is at the end of his career and it's good he recognizes it now.
The left hander has had an admirable career, too. He went 130-113 with a 4.14 ERA (106 ERA+), 1.26 WHIP and 1,681 strikeouts in 1,982 2/3 innings over the course of 16 seasons. He was a two-time All-Star, doing his best work for the Blue Jays and Cubs. He also saw time in the majors for the Expos, Yankees, Athletics and Dodgers.
Lilly made over $80 million during the course of his career, so retirement should be rather comfortable.
Also, we'd be remiss to say goodbye to Lilly as a player without including the immortal GIF from the 2007 NLDS, after he coughed up a three-run homer to Chris Young:
Godspeed, Mr. Lilly. Many of us will miss watching you work.