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Carl Pavano announces retirement after 14 big league seasons

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

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(USA Today)

Former All-Star Carl Pavano had hoped to make 2014 his comeback season after a freak fall while shoveling snow last January resulted in a ruptured spleen and caused him to miss the entire 2013 season, but that setback has proven too much for Pavano to overcome. On Wednesday, the 38-year-old right-hander was left with no choice but to announce his retirement, leaving behind a career than spanned 14 seasons and 302 major league appearances.

Pavano's retirement was confirmed to MLB Trade Rumors by his agent David Pepe. Pepe released the following statement on Pavano's behalf.

''Despite my strong desire to compete and hard work in preparing for the upcoming season, I feel that the amount of time lost from my spleen injury, coupled with the recovery from my complications from that injury, preclude me from continuing to compete at my highest level, which is necessary to perform in the major leagues.''

''I have achieved many things as a major league pitcher of which I am very proud. However, I feel at this time, I am simply not able to continue to pitch at the major league level, and these last three months of rigorous training have failed to produce the results that I was looking for to allow me to continue my major league career.''

Pavano hasn't appeared in a major league game since suffering a strained right shoulder in June of 2012. He was seemingly on his way back from that injury when his fall occurred last winter, so it's likely Pavano would have contributed somewhere in 2013.

As it is, Pavano walks away with a 108-107 record and a 4.39 ERA over 1,788 2/3 innings. He has one All-Star selection to his credit, coming in 2004 when he posted an 18-8 mark and a 3.00 ERA with the Marlins. But beyond that season he was never able to establish himself as anything more than a middle-of-the-rotation arm that was plagued by more and more injuries as his career went along.

Journeyman might be the best word that applies. Pavano began his career with the Montreal Expos in 1998 and was back and forth to the minors for his first five seasons. Then he moved on to the Marlins for what proved to be his prime seasons. Following his All-Star appearance in 04, Pavano signed a four-year, $39.95 million deal with the New York Yankees, but his tenure there was overshadowed by the number of games he missed due to injuries. In four years, Pavano made only 26 starts and lost the entire 2006 season.

After beginning the 2009 season with the Cleveland Indians, Pavano was traded to the Minnesota Twins to finish the campaign. He experienced a bit of a resurgence in 2010, going 17-11 with a 3.75 ERA and seven complete games, but slowly regressed with Minnesota until the shoulder injury in 2012.

Unfortunately, that will go down as Carl Pavano's last hurrah, but it seems he was never destined to go out on his own terms anyway. Giving credit where it's due though, there were several occasions over the past eight years where it would have been easy to buckle under the weight of constant rehab and call it a career, but Pavano never did. He battled until his body confirmed there was nothing left, so there's no reason he shouldn't walk away with his head held high.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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