Falmouth native Steve Cishek announces retirement from baseball

East Falmouth, Mass. native Steve Cishek has officially announced his retirement from baseball.

Cishek, who spent this past season with the Nationals, made the announcement in a recent conversation with Rich Maclone of The Enterprise News. He also took to Instagram to reflect on his time in pro ball earlier Friday evening.

“It’s time,” Cishek told Maclone. “It’s gotten harder for me to bounce back game-to-game. The ball wasn’t coming out as crisp as before, and it felt like I had to pitch differently. I know I’ll get the bug and want to get back out there, but I don’t think I’m pulling a Tom Brady.”

Cishek, now 36, attended Falmouth High School and was originally selected by the Marlins in the fifth round of the 2007 amateur draft out of Carson-Newman University (Jefferson City, Tenn.). The sidewinding right-hander broke in with Miami in 2010 and led the club in saves in back-to-back years (2013 and 2014) before being traded to the Cardinals in July 2015.

After a brief stint in St. Louis, Cishek signed a two-year deal with the Mariners. The 6-foot-6, 220-pound reliever registered 25 saves in his first season with Seattle but was dealt to the Rays ahead of the 2017 trade deadline. An impressive stint with Tampa Bay (1.06 ERA in 26 outings) netted Cishek a two-year deal with the Cubs that December.

Cishek saw the only postseason action of his career while with the Cubs, as he made an appearance out of the bullpen in the 2018 National League Wild Card Game against the Rockies at Wrigley Field. He got the only batter he faced to ground into an inning-ending double play in a game that Chicago ultimately lost, 1-0, in 13 innings.

At the conclusion of the 2019 campaign, Cishek elected to take his talents to the South Side of the Windy City by signing with the White Sox. He struggled to the tune of a 5.49 ERA in 22 appearances (20 innings) for Chicago during the COVID-shortened 2020 season and was released from his contract that September.

Cishek inked a minors pact with the Astros last February but was cut loose before the end of spring training. He quickly latched on with the Angels and wound up producing a 3.42 ERA in 74 games (66 1/3 innings) for the Halos in 2021.

As a result of last winter’s lockout, Cishek did not sign with the Nationals until March. He posted a 4.21 ERA with 74 strikeouts to 27 walks over 69 appearances (66 1/3 innings) for Washington.

All things considered, Cishek forged a respectable 2.98 ERA and 3.49 FIP to go along with 743 strikeouts across 737 total relief appearances between the Marlins, Cardinals, Mariners, Rays, Cubs, White Sox, Angels, and Nationals over the course of a 13-year major-league career in which he recorded 133 total saves . His 94 saves with Miami rank third all-time in franchise history, while his 737 career appearances are tied for the 87th-most on MLB’s all-time list.

“I don’t have anything to complain about,” Cishek said. “I had a good career. I had a lot of fun and got to play with some amazing teammates.”

Having grown up a Red Sox fan, Cishek said he dreamt of pitching for his hometown team at some point in his career. Despite the two sides being linked to one another in the past, that opportunity never fully materialized. Cishek, did, however make seven career appearances at Fenway Park and held opposing hitters to a .579 OPS against over 6 2/3 cumulative innings of relief.

With his playing days now behind him, Cishek will get the opportunity to spend more time with his wife, Marissa, and their three daughters. He told Maclone that he might get into coaching down the road and plans on getting in touch with the pitching coaches at Cressey Sports Performance in Hudson.

“I never had any issues with my arm,” said Cishek . “I owe a lot to those guys. Cressey is a big reason for that.”

According to Maclone, Cishek has enjoyed the longest playing career of any big-leaguer from Cape Cod to date. We certainly wish him the best in his future endeavors.

(Picture of Steve Cishek: G Fiume/Getty Images)

Is it time for the Red Sox to bring Falmouth native Steve Cishek home?

If the Red Sox are keen on adding bullpen help once the Major League Baseball lockout comes to an end, one reliever they could target is Massachusetts native Steve Cishek.

Cishek, 35, was born and raised in Falmouth, Mass. and grew up a fan of the Red Sox. He also makes hid off-season home on Cape Cod.

The experienced right-hander is a veteran of 12 big-league seasons between seven different teams, most recently spending the 2021 campaign with the Angels.

After originally signing a minor-league deal with the Astros in February, Cishek was cut loose by Houston in late March and quickly latched on with Los Angeles on a one-year major-league contract shortly before Opening Day.

Across 74 appearances for the Halos, Cishek posted a 3.42 ERA and 3.74 FIP to go along with 64 strikeouts to 41 walks over 68 1/3 innings of work. The Falmouth High School product was also exceptional when it came to limiting hard contact, as his 32.7% hard-hit rate against ranked in the top 10% of the league, per Baseball Savant.

Listed at 6-foot-6 and 215 pounds, Cishek is a sidearmer who works with a four-pitch mix that consists of a sinker, slider, four-seam fastball, and changeup. He held opponents to expected batting averages of .176 and .153 with his slider and four-seamer this past season.

While Cishek has yet to suit up for his hometown Red Sox to this point in time, there certainly have been plenty of connections between the two sides over the years.

In December 2019, The Athletic’s Peter Gammons reported that Cishek, then a free agent, “would like to sign with Boston,” but payroll issues prevented that from happening and he ultimately wound up inking a one-year pact with the White Sox.

In March 2021, after it was revealed that Cishek would be signing with the Angels, MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo relayed that the Sox had been interested in the righty, but only on a minor-league deal.

Not only are Cishek’s ties to the Red Sox are local — they also go beyond that considering chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom was a prominent member of the Rays’ front office when Tampa Bay acquired Cishek in a July 2017 trade with the Mariners.

With that being said, Cishek (who turns 36 in June) could provide Boston with a relatively inexpensive addition to the bullpen. He pitched primarily in the sixth through eighth innings of games while earning $1 million this year, but does come with plenty of closing experience as evidenced by his 132 career saves in the majors.

At present, the Sox have about nine relievers on their 40-man roster who come with at least some big-league experience under their belts. In adding a veteran like Cishek, Boston would gain additional relief depth. It’s as simple as that.

(Picture of Garrett Whitlock: Tim Warner/Getty Images)

Falmouth native Steve Cishek signs with Angels despite reported interest from Red Sox

Veteran reliever Steve Cishek has signed a one-year major-league deal with the Astros, the club announced Monday night.

The Athletic’s Fabian Ardaya reports that Cishek will earn $1 million with Los Angeles this season.

Cishek, 34, requested and was granted his release from the Astros last week after signing a minor-league pact with the club in February.

In camp with Houston, the right-hander yielded three earned runs on seven hits, two walks, and 12 strikeouts over seven appearances spanning 7 2/3 total innings of work.

Despite putting up those solid numbers, Cishek, who was set to make $1.25 million if he made the Astros’ Opening Day roster, was apparently not in Houston’s bullpen plans given the fact that they are creeping towards the $210 million luxury tax threshold.

Hitting the open market late last week, Cishek obviously did not remain a free-agent for long.

According to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, the Red Sox were one of the teams who expressed interest in the sidearmer’s services, but only in the capacity of a minor-league deal.

A native of Falmouth, Mass. and a product of Falmouth High School, Cishek’s connections to the Sox are not just local. He also has a history with Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom going back to when he was acquired by the Rays from the Mariners in July 2017.

Over the course of a big-league career that spans 11 seasons, the former fifth-round draft pick out of Carson-Newman University (Tenn.) owns a lifetime 2.78 ERA and 3.30 FIP over 594 games (576 innings) between the Marlins, Cardinals, Mariners, Rays, Cubs, and White Sox dating back to 2010.

He most recently put up a 5.40 ERA and 5.64 FIP in 22 appearances and 20 innings pitched out of the White Sox’ bullpen in 2020 before being cut loose by the club in late September.

Seeing how he only signed a one-year deal with his new team in the Angels, one has to wonder if the Red Sox will again be in the mix for Cishek’s services if/when he becomes a free-agent this winter.

Until then, Cishek will look to bolster a Halos’ bullpen that has made a plethora of significant additions in just the last two days alone.

The Angels are slated to visit Fenway Park for a three-game weekend series against the Red Sox from May 14-16.

(Picture of Steve Cishek: Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Astros release veteran reliever Steve Cishek; Could Red Sox be in play for Falmouth native’s services now that he is back on the open market?

The Astros have released reliever Steve Cishek after the veteran reliever requested to be cut loose by the club on Thursday, according to The Athletic’s Jake Kaplan.

Cishek, 34, originally signed a minor-league deal with Houston last month and had until this week to opt out of his contract if he wasn’t going to be added to the Astros’ 40-man roster.

Per Kaplan, the Falmouth, Mass. native was going to make $2.25 million if he made the Astros’ Opening Day roster out of spring training, which is a price the club wasn’t willing to pay given how close they are to the $210 million luxury tax threshold.

Coming off a 2020 campaign with the White Sox in which he struggled to the tune of a 5.40 ERA and 5.64 FIP over 22 relief appearances and 20 innings of work before being released in late September, Cishek had been looking better this spring.

Through his first seven outings with the Astros, the 6-foot-5, 215 pounder yielded three earned runs — all of which came on home runs — on seven hits and two walks to go along with 12 strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings pitched in Grapefruit League play.

Known for his sidearm delivery, Cishek has racked up 132 total saves over the course of an 11-year big-league career between the Marlins, Cardinals, Mariners, Rays, Cubs, and White Sox. He was originally selected by Miami in the fifth round of the 2007 amateur draft out of Carson-Newman University in Jefferson, Tenn.

Because of his local connections, Cishek always seemed like someone who would pitch for the Red Sox at some point before calling it a career.

MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo tweeted earlier Thursday that he would “expect the Red Sox to be involved with some relievers who are opting out of deals this week.”

Boston has their own bullpen competition going on at the moment between the likes of Austin Brice, Phillips Valdez, Colten Brewer, and Kevin McCarthy, but it would not be too surprising to see Chaim Bloom and Co. bring in a more established reliever based off the names that have been made available these past few days.

Bloom does after all have a history with Cishek going back to when the Rays acquired the righy reliever from the Mariners in a July 2017 trade.

(Picture of Steve Cishek: Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Falmouth native Steve Cishek signs minor-league deal with Houston Astros

Falmouth, Mass. native and veteran reliever Steve Cishek has signed a minor-league contract with the Houston Astros, per MLB.com’s transaction wire. The deal also includes an invite to major-league spring training.

The Houston Chronicle’s Chandler Rome was the first to report the signing.

Cishek, 34, will earn $2.25 million — plus more in incentives — if he makes the Astros’ roster, according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand.

The sidearm-throwing right-hander is coming off a shortened 2020 season with the Chicago White Sox in which he posted a 5.40 ERA and 5.64 FIP over 22 appearances and 20 innings of work before being designated for assignment in late September.

For his career, which spans 11 major-league seasons with six different clubs, the Falmouth High School product owns a lifetime 2.78 ERA and 3.30 FIP to go along with 132 career saves over 594 outings and 576 total innings pitched.

One of those six teams Cishek spent time with was the Tampa Bay Rays for the latter half of the 2017 campaign, so he now reunites with Astros general manager and former Rays executive James Click in Southeast Texas.

The former 2007 fifth-round draft pick of the Marlins had thrown for teams back in January during Corey Kluber’s showcase in South Florida (the two are both represented by Jet Sports Management).

As many as 25 teams attended said showcase, and while the Yankees came away winners of the Kluber sweepstakes, the Astros came out winners in the less-publicized Cishek sweepstakes.

Given his local connections, Cishek always seemed like someone who would be a perfect fit for the Red Sox, whether it be by trade or free agency.

A union between the two sides has yet to happen, though The Athletic’s Peter Gammons tweeted in December 2019 — before Cishek joined the White Sox — that the former Miami closer ‘would like to sign with Boston.’

That being said, as long as Cishek keeps taking minor- or one-year deals during the latter stages of his career, his eventual signing with the Sox cannot be ruled out at this point.

(Picture of Steve Cishek: Ed Zurga/Getty Images)