Mon, 21 Sep 2020

Veteran C Iannetta retires

Field Level Media
09 Aug 2020, 07:19 GMT+10

Veteran catcher Chris Iannetta told The Athletic on Saturday that he has retired from baseball.

The 37-year-old Iannetta was designated for assignment by the New York Yankees on Aug. 1 and placed on the restricted list on Friday. He declined to accept a recent request to report to the team's alternate training site near Scranton, Pa., and the Yankees chose to promote 40-year-old Erik Kratz to replace injured Kyle Higashioka (oblique) on Saturday.

"If I didn't make the team out of spring, I was going to call it a career. They knew that the whole time," Iannetta told The Athletic on Saturday. "That's kind of what transpired when they took me off the roster and wanted me to go to Scranton. I was like, no. I wasn't about to hang on or sit around and wait for someone to get hurt or get called up again.

"I've never wished anyone to get hurt in my entire career, and I wasn't about to start now."

Iannetta batted .230 with 141 homers and 502 RBIs in 1,197 games over 14 major league seasons with the Colorado Rockies (2006-11, 2018-19), Los Angeles Angels (2012-15), Seattle Mariners (2016) and Arizona Diamondbacks (2017).

He reached double digits in homers on seven occasions and his highest batting average was .264 in 2008.

The journeyman who played college at North Carolina said he was grateful to even reach the majors, let alone experience a long career.

"I never thought I'd get one (season)," Iannetta said. "Just to actually say I got the chance to play Major League Baseball is mind-blowing to me, and I'm very thankful for it.

"I was never the kid who had the Joe Carter moment in his backyard," he said in reference to the famous homer that ended the 1993 World Series. "I didn't think I'd have the opportunity to get called up until I was actually playing well at Triple A.

"I just kind of focused on getting to the next level the entire time. Playing Little League, then Babe Ruth, then high school and college, wanting to get drafted and going from there."

--Field Level Media

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