“I’m officially no longer going to play the game,” Lowe said. “It’s still enjoyable, but the role I was having wasn’t fulfilling.”
Lowe, 40, is best-known for his tenure with the Boston Red Sox, where he was a member of the 2004 World Championship team that broke the Curse to win Boston’s first World Series in 86 years.
Acquired by Boston in one of the more lopsided mid-season trades of all-time, coming from Seattle with catcher Jason Varitek in exchange for closer Heathcliff Slocumb, Lowe established himself first as a reliever, leading the league with 42 saves in 2000. Two seasons later, he placed third in the AL Cy Young balloting while going 21-8 in his first year in the rotation. He was named to the AL All-Star team in each of those seasons — the only two such honors of his 17-year career.
The past few seasons have been a struggle for Lowe, however. He lead in National League in losses while pitching for Atlanta in 2011, then was traded to the Indians during the ensuing off-season. Though he got off to a good start with Cleveland last year, he couldn’t sustain success and wound up designated for assignment mid-season. Picked up by the Yankees, Lowe worked in middle relief through the end of the year and joined the Rangers as a reliever to start 2013.
He was released on May 23.
“Like I told my dad, I’ll never retire,” Lowe said. “If you’re not playing, it’s completely self-explanatory. I’m not going to go to the Hall of Fame, so I don’t feel like I need to have a retirement speech. But I was able to play 17 years on some pretty cool teams and win a World Series. So, everyone’s got to stop playing at some point, and this is my time.”