Rafael Soriano, the 36 year old reliever who started his career with the Seattle Mariners, has announced his retirement, per reports on Twitter.
This is one of those "you're getting old" moments...I remember discussions on the internet in the early 21st century, before there was a Lone Star Ball, where the more pessimistic of Rangers fans felt competing in the American League West was a lost cause for years to come because of the wealth of terrific young pitching prospects the Mariners had coming up. Ryan Anderson, Gil Meche, Joel Pineiro, Freddy Garcia, Travis Blackley, Clint Nageotte, Rafael Soriano...the waves of arms the M's had would be insurmountable.
Unfortunately for M's fans, it didn't work out as hoped for a lot of those guys, though Soriano ended up having a very nice career once he went to the pen. Seattle ended up shipping Soriano to Atlanta for Horacio Ramirez prior to the 2007 season, in a deal that didn't work out well, and Soriano started his odyssey around the majors, spending time with the Braves, the Rays, the Yankees, and the Nationals before appearing in six games for the Cubs last year. Soriano was in camp with the Blue Jays this spring, but has apparently decided to hang it up.
One other interesting thing on Soriano...he did the opt-out thing before it was cool. Soriano signed a 3 year, $35M deal with the Yankees prior to the 2011 season, with Soriano having the right to opt out of the deal after each season. Soriano didn't have a very good 2011 season, so he didn't exercise the clause, but a strong 2012 season resulted in him opting out and signing a two year, $28M deal with Washington.