Brad Wilkerson announced his retirement from baseball today, just one year removed from being the Seattle Mariners’ opening day starter in right field. You can add Wilkerson’s name to the list of players who are now out of baseball after having had their careers put on life support by ever-gracious ex-Seattle Mariner GM Bill Bavasi.
Here is a list, separated by year, of players that suited up for at least one game with the Mariners that are now completely out of Major League Baseball (i.e. not on the roster of a major league team or any of its farm affiliates; list includes players who are playing in independent leagues, or leagues in other countries). The list dates back to 2004, Bavasi’s first year as general manager:
2008 (5 players): Charlton Jimerson, OF; Richie Sexson, 1B; Jose Vidro, DH; Jared Wells, RP; Brad Wilkerson, OF.
2007 (5): Jason Davis, RP; Jon Huber, RP; Julio Mateo, RP; Chris Reitsma, RP; Rick White, RP.
2006 (8): T.J. Bohn, OF; Francisco Cruceta, RP; Carl Everett, DH; Jeff Harris, RP; Matt Lawton, OF; Clint Nageotte, SP; Eduardo Perez, 1B/3B; Guillermo Quiroz, C.
2005 (14): Scott Atchison, RP; Bret Boone, 2B; Pat Borders, C; Jaime Bubela, OF; Wiki Gonzalez, C; Dave Hansen, PH; Shigetoshi Hasegawa, RP; Masao Kida, RP; Bobby Madritsch, SP; Miguel Ojeda, C; Aaron Sele, SP; Scott Spiezio, 3B; Jamal Strong, OF; Dan Wilson, C.
2004 (11): Hiram Bocachica, OF; Jolbert Cabrera, U; Bucky Jacobsen, 1B; Kevin Jarvis, SP; Mickey Lopez, 2B; Edgar Martinez, DH; Quinton McCracken, OF; Mike Myers, RP; John Olerud, 1B; Aaron Taylor, RP; Randy Williams, RP.
For those of you tallying at home, that’s 43 total players over the past five years that have seen their careers fizzle after spending time with the M’s. That number may be consistent across most MLB teams, but it seems awful high to me.
Of course, the list does include guys like Edgar and Dan Wilson, who simply retired after long and decorated careers.
But at the same time, it does not include guys like Freddy Garcia (Mets’ organization), Ben Davis (ex-catcher, now a pitcher in the Reds’ organization), or Justin Leone (ex-starting third baseman, now in the Yankees’ organization) who are barely clinging to the nether reaches of baseball with year-by-year minor league deals.