Tony Watson, a veteran of 11 big-league seasons, announced his retirement on Monday in a statement to The Athletic. Watson, who will celebrate his 37th birthday in May, split last season between pitching for the Los Angeles Angels and the San Francisco Giants.
“Thank you to all my teammates, peers, coaches, and support staff for all the cherished memories along the way, for providing support to keep me on the field, and experiences that will last a lifetime,” Watson wrote in a statement to The Athletic. “Thank you to my wife and kids for being with me every step of the way and to my family and friends for always being there and supporting me through it all.”
Watson appeared in 62 games last season, recording a 3.92 ERA (110 ERA+) and a 2.44 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He suffered from left-shoulder trouble late in the year that prevented him from playing in the postseason. According to Nesbitt, that same issue continued to plague him into the spring as he attempted to work out for teams.
In 689 career appearances, he accumulated a 2.90 ERA (136 ERA+) and a 3.28 strikeout-to-walk ratio. His contributions were worth an estimated 13 Wins Above Replacement, per Baseball-Reference’s calculations. Watson is a one-time All-Star and Major League Baseball’s career leader in the hold statistic, with 246.
In addition to pitching for the Angels and the Giants, Watson also made regular-season appearances with the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Pittsburgh Pirates. The latter team’s fan base might have more fond memories of him than any other. Not only were the Pirates his original team, but he was part of the trade at the 2017 deadline that returned top prospect Oneil Cruz to Pittsburgh.