Burnitz retires at 37 with 315 career home runs
Burnitz, 37, hit a disappointing .230 with 16 home runs in 313 at-bats for the Pittsburgh Pirates in his final season. He became a free agent in November when the Pirates declined a $6 million option for 2007 and paid him a $700,000 buyout.
Agent Howard Simon said Burnitz had contemplated retirement for the past two or three seasons, only to return to play each time. Burnitz did not receive any offers this offseason.
"When it came down to it [in past seasons], he wasn't quite ready to do it," Simon said. "I thought the same thing might happen this time around, but he's made up his mind to call it quits for sure."
Burnitz broke into professional ball as the Mets' first-round draft pick in 1990. His best career stretch came with Milwaukee from 1998 through 2001, when he averaged 34 homers and 106 RBI for the Brewers. He made the National League All-Star team in 1999.
Burnitz played on a College World Series team with Oklahoma State in 1990, but appeared in 1,694 major league games without a playoff appearance. It was the longest-running postseason futility streak among active players.
Burnitz, Phil Nevin, Brian Jordan and Eric Young are among several aging position players who either failed to receive offers from big league clubs this offseason or declined to pursue lesser opportunities. Steve Finley, 41, waited until Feb. 24 to sign a minor league deal with the Colorado Rockies.
Jerry Crasnick covers Major League Baseball for ESPN Insider.
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