Torres retires after career year
Reliever's exit from baseball leaves Brewers without closer
MILWAUKEE -- Add "closer" to the Brewers' list of offseason needs.Salomon Torres, who emerged in May as a steady replacement for the unsteady Eric Gagne and went on to lead the team in saves, appearances and relief innings, informed the Brewers on Tuesday that he intended to retire. The story was first reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Tom Haudricourt. The Brewers subsequently made a formal announcement. "I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved who helped make this season a memorable one for me and my family, everyone from the fans to [Brewers owner] Mark Attanasio to [general manager] Doug Melvin, the Brewers staff and front office," Torres said in a statement. "Milwaukee is a wonderful city with great fans and people. I will always cherish the opportunity I had to play here. While I still have great passion and energy for the game of baseball, I feel that the time has come to redirect that passion and energy to my family and God." Torres, who is devoutly religious, has three children with his wife, Belkis. The family lives near Pittsburgh, where Torres pitched from 2002-07 before a December 2007 trade to Milwaukee. The 37-year-old right-hander 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.
"We're going to have to retool the bullpen a little bit," Melvin said. "We have [David] Riske back, [Seth] McClung back, unless he goes into a starting role, and then [Carlos] Villanueva. We do have some holes to fill, but we had holes last year to fill, too."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.