ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – One-time Texas Rangers closer Shawn Tolleson announced Wednesday he is retiring as an active player, effective immediately, the Rangers said in a news release.
Tolleson, who was the Rangers’ 2015 Pitcher of the Year, has spent most of the last two seasons on a rehabilitation program after undergoing ligament reconstruction surgery on his right elbow on May 17, 2017.
After spending all of 2017 on the Tampa Bay Rays’ 60-day disabled list, he signed a minor league contract with Texas on December 21, 2017.
Tolleson was in Major League camp last spring and continued a rehab and throwing program throughout 2018. He experienced a setback in a throwing session last week on January 11, when he strained his right flexor tendon.
“My intention was to compete for a position on the Rangers’ Major League pitching staff in 2019.” said Tolleson. “With that no longer being a possibility, I have decided this is the right time to retire from professional baseball and move on to the next chapter of my life.
“I want to thank the Texas Rangers organization for all of their assistance in my rehab over the last year. It was a dream come true to pitch for my hometown team for three years, and my family and I will always be grateful for that opportunity.”
A graduate of Allen High School and Baylor University, Tolleson was acquired by Texas on a waiver claim from the Los Angeles Dodgers on November 20, 2013. Over the next three seasons, he posted an 11-7 record with 46 saves and a 3.84 ERA in 174 relief appearances with the Rangers. Tolleson was the club’s pitcher of the year in 2015 with a 2.99 ERA and 35 saves in 73 appearances, and he ranks eighth in Rangers’ history in career saves (46).
Tolleson struggled with back problems in 2016 and did not pitch after July 27 of that year due to a lower back sprain. He signed as a free agent with Tampa Bay on January 23, 2017 but made just five spring training appearances for the Rays before experiencing right elbow soreness that led to the surgery.
Overall, Tolleson was 14-8 with a 3.92 ERA in 215 career big league appearances with the Dodgers (2012-13) and Rangers (2014-16).