When Shigetoshi Hasegawa cleaned out his locker at Safeco Field prior to the final day of the 2005 regular season, he knew he wouldn't be returning to the Mariners in 2006.
But he hadn't decided where his career might take him.
After spending more than three months contemplating his future, Hasegawa announced on Monday that he has retired.
"I had some offers from other teams, but have decided to retire," Hasegawa told the Associated Press in Tokyo. "Unless I'm in perfect shape mentally and physically, I wouldn't be able to be an important part of a team."
The 37-year-old right-hander compiled a 45-44 record with 33 saves during a nine-year career in the Major Leagues, the last four with the Mariners. He went 1-3 with a 4.19 ERA in 2005, after which the Mariners turned down a $3.1 million option.
Hasegawa's best season came in 2003. He set a club record for lowest ERA (1.48) for a reliever, was selected to the American League All-Star team for the first (and only) time and allowed runs in just 12 of his 63 appearances.
Thrust into the closer role in 2003 because of an injury to Kazuhiro Sasaki, Hasegawa ended up with 16 saves in 17 save opportunities and set a club record with 28 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings over a 25-game stretch from June 3-Aug. 22. He also maintained a sub-1.00 ERA until Sept. 5 of that season.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.