The Colorado Rockies designated LHP Jamie Moyer, the all-time wins leader in Seattle Mariners history, for assignment Wednesday, a move that likely ends the 49-year-old Moyer’s major league career. Colorado’s move came six weeks after Moyer became the oldest starting pitcher in major league history to win a game.
Moyer said in a news conference Wednesday that he still hopes to continue his major league career, but that he has no immediate prospects for pitching for another major league team. As with all “designated for assignment” transactions, the Rockies have 10 days to trade Moyer or release him.
“It’s a tough pill to swallow, but it’s part of the business,” Moyer told The Associated Press. “I enjoyed my time in Denver. “Unfortunately I didn’t hold up my end of the bargain. That’s what happens in the game.”
After missing all of the 2011 season while recovering from reconstructive elbow surgery, Moyer signed with the Rockies and made the team with an impressive spring training. He became the oldest pitcher to win as a starter April 17, when he led the Rockies to a 5-3 win over the San Diego Padres.
Moyer picked up his second win a month after his milestone victory, allowing one earned run and six hits in 6.1 innings in the Rockies’ 6-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks May 16. But Moyer had struggled recently. He was 2-5 with a 5.70 ERA in 10 starts.
In his last start at Cincinnati Sunday, Moyer was unable to hold a 5-0 lead and took the loss in a 7-5 Rockies’ setback. He went five innings and gave up seven hits and seven runs.
“It is all about putting up results, individually and as a team,” Moyer said. “When you don’t do that, obviously management has to just step back and reevaluate things and their choices are their decisions.”
Over the course of his 24-year career, Moyer has gone 269-209 with a 4.25 ERA while playing for eight big league teams. Moyer also pitched for Philadelphia (2010-2006), Seattle (2006-1997), Boston (1996), Baltimore (1995-1993), St. Louis (1991), Texas (1990-1989) and the Chicago Cubs (1988-86).
The Mariners acquired Moyer July 30, 1996, in a trade with Boston, in which Seattle sent OF Darren Bragg to the Red Sox. A year later, the Mariners had a choice to make: retain Moyer or pitcher Terry Mulholland. They opted for Moyer, and it turned out to be one of the most astute moves in franchise history.
From 1997-06, Moyer became a fixture in Seattle’s starting rotation, eventually winning 145 games, most by a pitcher in Mariners history. He became a 20-game winner (20-6) in 2001, when the Mariners won an AL-record 116 games, and won 21 more in 2003 (21-7), when he made the American League All-Star team for the first time at the age of 40 (third-oldest first-time All-Star).
When Moyer departed Seattle in 2006 in a trade that sent him to Philadelphia, he ranked No. 1 in franchise history in wins (145). He still ranks No. 1 in starts (323), innings pitched (2,093), third in strikeouts (1,239), third in winning percentage (.625) and 4th in games (324).
Moyer also made substantial community contributions in Seattle after founding the Jamie Moyer Foundation.
Moyer won numerous awards for philanthropy and community service, including the 2003 Roberto Clemente Award, the 2003 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award, the 2003 Hutch Award, and the 2004 Branch Rickey Award.
Moyer is also one of only 29 players in baseball history to have appeared in major league games in four decades.
Woody Woodward has been excoriated (properly in most cases) for a lot of the trades he made as GM in Seattle, but he deserves credit for this one, too.
Sad to see it looking like the end for Moyer, who’s starting to get that nomadic Steve Carlton end-of-career look going (which in itself is also sad), but I’m not quite ready to turn a shovel on Jamie yet. So much of pitching is about upsetting a batter’s timing by pitch selection, changing speeds and location, and this guy is a craftsman who doesn’t have to throw hard because he throws SMART. I’m not holding my breath, but I’d like to see him get another chance elsewhere to ride into the sunset on his own terms.
A true “pitcher’s pitcher” and a stand-up guy who’s done a lot in the Seattle community even during the six years since Bavasi gave him away to save money so the M’s could bring in Jeff “Gas Can” Weaver.
Bring him back as a long reliever, or scout, or whatever. Bring him back. Hey, how about 10-3 yesterday and 21-7 tonight.
Like to see the M’s offer Jaime a one day contract so he retires as an M but I bet he holds out for the Phillies. Be surprised if they do that for him though.
I do not want to see him return as a player — we don’t need him, no one does. But, if you have ever heard Jaime speak in person, on TV or on the radio, you have to admit he has a great voice. I remember listening to him last year while he chatted with Sims and Blower during a game, and thinking he sounded better than the professionals interviewing him. It might take him a year or two to get into the swing of it, but Jaime Moyer would be a valuable asset to the Mariner’s broadcasting team. His expertise about pitching and the strengths and weaknesses of batters would be invaluable and entertaining. Of course, this expertise would also benefit a team if it hired him as a coach, but I believe that his true calling (after baseball, that is) is broadcasting.
Interesting. I think he’d make a great pitching coach. Few know more about the pitcher’s art at the MLB level plus he had to battle through adversity and failure before coming to Seattle, which could translate well with young, struggling pitchers…Jamie’s been there.
As a broadcaster, he’d be an improvement. To me, the best color man the M’s have ever had was Rico Petrocelli, who worked a handful of games in 1979 or so. Rico had the bonafides as a former player, understood/explained the game well, had a pleasant voice and seemed to work really well with Niehaus. I wondered for years why he didn’t stick around (especially given some of the men who’ve followed him) until I learned he hated flying and wanted to stay closer to his family back east.
I believe the Mariners already have a pretty good, if not great pitching coach in Willis. This and the fact that he is a close friend and long time associate of Wedge would seem to preclude any possibility of Moyer being hired in that capacity. I actually meant to say that he might do play by play some day — not just commentary.
I didn’t mean pitching coach for the M’s…Willis is doing fine in that role. I meant coaching SOMEWHERE. Guys who know how to pitch don’t grow in bunches like bananas, son, like Bobo Newsom would say.
Having done it for years, I can guarantee that your voice quality is only part of play-by-play announcing: It’s just not nearly as easy to be good calling a game as some folks think. We’ve been spoiled in Seattle to have had Dave Niehaus, who was technically and aurally outstanding, for 35 years (there’s a reason he’s in Cooperstown), but guys like him are few and far between. However, Leo Lassen, who had a terrible voice for radio, was just as much a local icon from the 30’s through the 50’s as Niehaus is now because Leo knew HOW to connect the game into the minds of his listeners.