Former Red Sox Cy Young winner Rick Porcello retires from baseball

Former Red Sox pitcher Rick Porcello has officially announced his retirement from baseball.

Porcello, who last pitched in 2020 and turns 34 later this month, made the announcement in a conversation with WEEI’s Rob Bradford at David Ortiz’s charity golf tournament in Florida over the weekend.

“This is Rick Porcello,” he said during an appearance on the Bradfo Sho Podcast. “I want to tell all the listeners I’m retired. Thank you for all the great memories, and thanks for everything.”

The Red Sox originally acquired Porcello from the Tigers in a December 2014 trade that sent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to Detroit. Boston signed the right-hander to a four-year, $82.5 million contract extension (that did not take effect until 2016) before the start of the 2015 season.

In his debut season with the Sox, Porcello struggled to the tune of a 4.92 ERA and 4.13 FIP over 28 starts (172 innings). The following year, he broke out by going 22-4 with a 3.15 ERA and 3.40 FIP across 33 starts (223 innings) en route to beating out former teammate Justin Verlander for the 2016 American League Cy Young Award.

After surpassing the 200-inning plateau again in 2017, Porcello played a key role in helping the Red Sox win a World Series in 2018. He led the club in innings pitched during the regular season (191 1/3) and produced a 5.32 ERA in five appearances (three starts) during the postseason.

Porcello’s final season in Boston was one to forget (5.52 ERA in 32 starts). Still, the reliable righty forged a 4.43 ERA and respectable 4.13 FIP to go along with 852 strikeouts to 211 walks over 159 starts (964 innings) in five seasons with the Red Sox. Only three pitchers (Max Scherzer, Verlander, and Zack Greinke) accrued more innings than Porcello during that four-year stretch.

Coming off a disappointing end to his time with the Sox, Porcello inked a one-year, $10 million deal with the Mets in Dec. 2019. As the COVID-19 pandemic reduced the length of the 2020 major-league season to just 60 games, Porcello yielded a 5.64 ERA and 3.33 FIP in 12 starts (59 innings) for New York. He became a free agent again that winter and went unsigned.

“There was a lot of personal stuff I probably don’t want to get into, but I think the bottom line was that I was very fortunate to have the years I had in the big leagues,” Porcello told Bradford. “I think COVID lent some perspective on my life. I wanted to be with my family. I wanted to get back into that type of lifestyle and be around them because every year that you’re gone is another year where your parents are getting older, and your brothers are getting older. I think COVID impacts a lot of people like that.”

When asked if he garnered interest from teams following the abbreviated 2020 campaign, Porcello responded: “There was some interest but I had two (expletive) years back-to-back so not that much interest.”

Originally selected by the Tigers with the 27th overall pick of the 2007 amateur draft out of Seton Hall Preparatory School in New Jersey, Porcello debuted with Detroit less than two years later. He retires having gone 150-125 with a 4.40 ERA and 1,561 strikeouts in 12 seasons between the Tigers, Red Sox, and Mets.

Shortly after Porcello made his announcement official, the Red Sox made sure to wish him well on social media.

“A Cy Young Winner & World Series Champ,” the club’s official Twitter account tweeted on Monday. “Congrats on a great career and best of luck in retirement, Rick.”

(Picture of Rick Porcello: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Author: Brendan Campbell

Blogging about the Boston Red Sox since April '17. Also support Tottenham Hotspur.

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