Right-hander Adam Warren confirmed to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com yesterday that he’s retired as a player after spending parts of eight seasons in the Majors (Twitter link, with video, to Hoch’s interview with Warren). Warren, who was making an appearance at Yankees Fantasy Camp, told Hoch that he’s been enjoying time with his family but also misses being around the game and would be open to “maybe getting into some kind of coaching” role in the future.
“There’s no more attempt to come back or anything like that,” Warren replied upon being asked if he’s formally put an end to his playing career. “I’m happy with it. I had a great career — didn’t really leave anything out there, so no regrets. Totally happy with it.”
Originally signed by the Yankees as a fourth-round pick out of UNC back in 2009, Warren made his big league debut as a 23-year-old in 2012 — a spot start that proved to be his lone MLB appearance that season. He made the Opening Day roster the following year, however, and quickly established himself as a pivotal swingman providing quality, multi-inning relief out of then-manager Joe Girardi’s bullpen. Warren’s official rookie season resulted in 77 innings of 3.39 ERA ball; he made two starts, finished 11 games and picked up his first Major League win, save and hold along the way, foreshadowing the jack-of-all-trades approach to pitching that he’d embody throughout his career.
Warren worked as a setup man for the Yankees in 2014, tallying 23 holds and saving three games while pitching to a sharp 2.97 ERA in 78 2/3 innings. He stepped into the rotation for part of the 2015 season and did so almost seamlessly, starting 17 games (plus another 26 relief appearances) and working to a 3.29 ERA over the life of a career-high 131 2/3 frames. His early Yankees work caught the attention of the Cubs, who acquired him that offseason in a trade that sent Starlin Castro to the Bronx.
Warren’s time with the Cubs in 2016 went poorly and proved to be short-lived, as he was knocked around for a 5.91 ERA. As the trade deadline approached, the Cubs, then hoping to bolster the roster for a World Series push (an endeavor that ultimately proved successful) quickly traded Warren … back to the Yankees, as one of four players in a package that shipped Aroldis Chapman to Chicago. Warren almost immediately righted the ship in his return to the Bronx, and he went on to have strong performances with the Yankees in both 2017 and 2018 before being traded to the Mariners, where he had a nice finish to his 2018 campaign.
Upon reaching free agency, Warren signed with the Padres, but his time in San Diego was marred by injury. After just 25 appearances, the right-hander landed on the injured list with an arm issue that ultimately proved to be a ligament tear in his pitching elbow. He underwent Tommy John surgery that year, rehabbed in 2020 and eventually made his way back to the mound for a third stint with the Yankees organization — this time with their Triple-A affiliate in 2021.
Though Warren posted solid results in Scranton that season — 3.59 ERA in 57 2/3 innings — he didn’t receive a call to the big leagues. Warren told Hoch that “the velocity never came back like I wanted it to.” That season proved to be the final chapter in his playing career, as Warren didn’t suit up for the 2022 campaign and now, at 35 years old, doesn’t appear to be contemplating a comeback.
Warren’s career draws to an official close with a 3.53 ERA, a 20.9% strikeout rate, an 8.3% walk rate, a 30-24 record, 57 holds and six saves over the course of 492 1/3 innings. He pitched for four different big league clubs, but fans will surely remember him as a versatile, quietly excellent member of the Yankees’ pitching staff who found success in just about every role asked of him. Baseball-Reference pegs his career earnings at approximately $11.5MM, and if Warren indeed plans to pursue potential coaching opportunities, there’ll surely be chances for him to add to that tally in the next phase of his career.
Yankee fans will want to check out the entire clip of Hoch’s chat with Warren, as he talks briefly about his favorite moments in pinstripes and notes that with so many great teammates over the years, “it’s just nice to be remembered” by fans with whom he interacts. That humble mentality undersells the right-hander’s importance to the Yankees’ staff during his run with the club, and it seems quite safe to say that their fans in particular will have plenty of fond memories Warren’s time in the Bronx. Best wishes to Warren and his family in whatever’s next, and congratulations on a very fine career.
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