The Brewers had a $3.75 million option for 2009 on Torres, which they certainly would have exercised by the Saturday deadline after he emerged as their closer last season. But Torres said he wanted to take that out of Melvin's hands by telling him he was retiring.
"I wanted to make it easy for him," said Torres, 36, reached at home in Pittsburgh. "I already had made up my mind and wanted to tell him this was my last season."
Torres, a deeply religious man, said he wanted to devote more time to his wife and three children as well as his faith.
Torres already retired once, in 1997, and he considered doing it again after the Pirates traded him last offseason, so this isn't much of a shock. If this is it for Torres, 2008 will have been the only really good season of his career that he didn't play for the Pirates.