Brewers closer Torres retires after career year

Lance LeQueAnalyst INovember 12, 2008

In a surprising move, Salomon Torres, now former Brewers closer, has retired.

The 37-year-old righty went 7-5 with a 3.49 ERA and a career-high 28 saves in 2008 and was 27-for-32 in save opportunities after taking over for Gagne on May 24.

Torres has made more appearances over the past five seasons—383—than any pitcher in Major League Baseball, a workload that may have contributed to a 12.46 ERA over his final 10 appearances. That stretch raised his ERA from 2.40 to 3.49.

The Brewers were facing a Saturday deadline to decide whether to exercise Torres' $3.75 million option for 2009 or pay him a $300,000 buyout. On Tuesday, after learning Torres' intentions, team officials were unsure whether they need to act on the option at all.

Torres first mentioned retirement last December after the Brewers acquired him in a trade with Pittsburgh.

This is Torres' second retirement—He retired after the 1997 season, which he split between Seattle and Montreal. He was out of baseball for three seasons, then pitched briefly in South Korea in 2001 and signed a free-agent contract with the Pirates in January 2002.

My Take:

Well, now we can add "closer" to our list of off-season needs.

This doesn't bode well for the Crew, as the closer position is quite a difficult one to pick up. The Brewers could make another trade for a closer, or could try to pick up an experienced reliever through free agency.

Huston Street, who was rumored to have been on the move this off-season, could have been a possibility for the Brewers, as he's cheap, young, and experienced—perfect for the team. However, he has already been swapped in a deal with the Colorado Rockies. The three best closing pitchers on the market would probably have to be Francisco Rodriguez, Brian Fuentes, and Trevor Hoffman. Another quality option would be former D-Backs reliever, Brandon Lyon.