Wade Davis recorded the final out of the 2015 World Series by punching out then-New York Mets infielder Wilmer Flores, giving the Kansas City Royals their first championship in 30 years. On Wednesday, the 36-year-old righty officially hung up the cleats.
Davis joins fellow former All-Star relievers Brett Cecil and Joakim Soria — who was a teammate of Davis’ on the 2016 Royals’ squad — as notable hurlers with over 10 years of MLB experience who have retired this offseason.
Davis was selected by the then-Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the third round of the 2004 MLB June Amateur draft, made his MLB debut with the club in 2009, and pitched with the team — primarily as a starter — through 2012. During the winter leading into the 2013 season, Davis was traded to the Royals in a blockbuster deal that also included James Shields, Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi among others.
The Lake Wales, Fla., native had a rough first season in Kansas City, but then permanently shifted to the bullpen and turned his career around. Davis went 9-2 with a 1.00 ERA and minuscule 0.84 WHIP in 2014, finishing eighth in the AL Cy Young voting, and helped lead the Royals to within one win of a World Series title.
Davis was even better in 2015, going 8-1 and setting career-best numbers ERA (0.94) and WHIP (0.78), while earning his first of three straight All-Star nods and finishing sixth in the AL Cy Young race. Davis was dominant again during his final season in Kansas City in 2016, but was traded to the Chicago Cubs before the 2017 campaign in exchange for 2021 World Series MVP Jorge Soler.
The reliever racked up 32 saves in his lone season with the Cubs before signing with the Colorado Rockies over the winter. Davis secured a NL-leading 43 saves in 2018, but struggled in his final two seasons at Coors Field and finished his career back with the Royals in 2021.
Victor Barbosa is a passionate follower of MLB, the NBA and NFL, with a specific interest in the Boston-area teams. As a 90s kid, he knows how spoiled he’s been, particularly with the BoSox run of championships (he grew up with a dog named Nomar and a cat named Big Papi). Now he lives with his fiancee and two pups (Hershey and Mosby) outside of Albany, NY. Follow Victor on Twitter at @vbarbosa1127.
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