Ian Snell Retires from St. Louis Cardinals

29-year-old right-handed pitcher retires after losing battle to make major league roster.

Pitcher Ian Snell, previously vying for a spot on the St. Louis Cardinals' roster, has decided to retire rather than report to minor league camp, reported general manager John Mozeliak following Tuesday's game.

Ian Snell
"We sent him out this morning and he's decided to retire," Mozeliak said. "We wish him well in his future endeavors. We were a little more optimistic that something might work out here but he feels like it is time in his career to move on."

"It was just really about performance and I think he feels it was a point in his life where the opportunities were just not there," Mozeliak said.

The 29-year-old had pitched in one "A" game and two "B" games this spring. Snell allowed a total of four runs in seven innings.

Snell was signed by the Cardinals on January 14 to a minor league contract that allowed him to request his release if not added to the 25-man roster by June 1. He apparently decided not to wait.

He split the 2010 season with Seattle and Triple-A Tacoma where he was a member of the Pacific Coast League Champions. Snell appeared in 12 games (eight starts) for the Mariners last year after making 12 starts and winning five games for Seattle in 2009.

Snell was dealt from Pittsburgh to Seattle at the July 2009 deadline as part of a six-man trade that also included former Cardinal prospect Jack Wilson. He had signed a three-year, $8.6 million contract with the Bucs in March 2008.

Snell averaged 32 starts per season during a three-year (2006-08) period with the Pirates, winning a single-season best 14 games in 2006. He was tabbed as the Pirates Opening Day starter in 2008 after leading the Pittsburgh staff in ERA (3.76), strikeouts (177) and innings pitched (208.0) in 2007. His career record is 38-53, with a 4.80 ERA.

With the move, the Cardinals now have 44 players in major league camp. It is made up of 26 of the players on the 40-man roster including injured players Adam Wainwright and Nick Punto plus 18 non-roster invitee players. The NRI group consists of nine pitchers and nine position players. Further cuts are expected on Friday.

Full and up-to-date spring camp rosters, both major and minor league versions, can be seen at The Cardinal Nation Blog.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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