Phillies' Gonzalez decides to retire; Coste called up

Updated: May 21, 2006, 3:55 PM ET

PHILADELPHIA -- Veteran infielder Alex Gonzalez of the Philadelphia Phillies has decided to retire, effective immediately.

Third Base
Philadelphia Phillies

20 0 1 4 .158 .111

Phillies general manager Pat Gillick announced on Sunday that Gonzalez has been placed on the voluntarily retired list.

"Alex and I have chatted about this the last few days," Gillick said. "He came in this morning and said he had made up his mind [to retire]. I know it wasn't easy. We wish Alex and his family well."

Gonzalez, 33, was in his 13th major league season and first with the Phillies after signing with them in February.

"I have decided to retire and open a new chapter in my life," said Gonzalez in a statement. "It has been an excellent ride through the years. There are many things I will miss about the game including the competition at the highest level and the camaraderie with my teammates."

Originally drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in 1991 when Gillick was their general manager, Gonzalez made his major league debut in 1994 and also played with the Chicago Cubs, Montreal, San Diego and Tampa Bay.

Gonzalez had a .243 career average with 137 home runs and 536 RBI. He was the starting shortstop on the Cubs when they advanced to the postseason in 2003 and hit a career-high 20 homers that season.

The Phillies purchased the contract of catcher-first baseman Chris Coste from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre of the International League to replace Gonzalez on the roster.

Coste, 33, was hitting just .177 with two homers and 14 RBI in the minors. However in spring training with the Phillies, Coste hit .463 with three homers and 11 RBI.