Why Washington native Trevor May is retiring after a decade in MLB

Nov 4, 2023, 9:50 AM

Trevor May is coming off of one of his best seasons as an MLB reliever.

In 2023 with the Oakland Athletics, the 34-year-old right-hander posted a 3.28 ERA with career-best numbers in saves (21), hits per nine innings (6.8) and home runs per nine innings (0.8). Sounds like a good stat line for the Washington state native to point to while looking for a contract in free agency this offseason, right?

Can the Mariners find their next Nelson Cruz this offseason?

Well, May has other plans. He announced on his popular Twitch channel last month that he is retiring from MLB after completing his ninth big league season – at the same time sharing his opinion on the state of the A’s, whose owner, John Fisher, has been under fire for quite some time due to the team’s low payroll and his stated plan to move the franchise to Las Vegas.

While May’s comments about Fisher and the A’s made headlines, exactly why May is hanging up his cleats wasn’t completely clear. In an exclusive interview with Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob that aired Friday, the Kelso High School product provided his reasoning.

“It seems kind of abrupt, especially with how things went (in 2023), but I knew going into the season that this was very, very likely it,” May told hosts Dave Wyman and Bob Stelton. “It was a conversation with my partner and my family and my friends and everybody. I just really think that I was feeling much more excited about other things. Playing baseball has been my dream for a long time, and I think I came to the realization that, like, could I consider that dream realized? And after eight years, I was like, ‘Yeah,’ so I think everything’s kind of bonus.”

May has a few well-known interests off the field. Fans of his Twitch account know of May’s affinity for electronic music and esports, and he has also been a partial owner of FCF Zappers, an indoor football team in the Fan Controlled Football League. Based off of his conversation with Wyman and Bob, it would seem he’s well suited for a post-playing career move to media, as well.

“I just have a lot of interests outside of the game that I want to explore. That was a big, big reason,” May said of retiring.

Having been drafted out of Kelso High in the fourth round of the 2008 MLB Draft by the Phillies and making his big league debut in 2014, May is ready to get out of the grind of being a professional baseball player.

“If I’m being completely honest, leaving for spring training every year was – I had a different relationship with it (than other players may),” he said. “You know, a lot of my buddies I played with would always be like, ‘Don’t you get bored and (want to get) ready to start the season?’ Like, no, never. I’m having a blast with my other stuff. I’m sad that I have to stop (playing baseball) – not that I’m not excited (when I get) to play, either. It’s just it was always bittersweet (to leave for spring training), and the transitioning from place to place and moving all your stuff, it just got really, really, really old, really fast, and then you just kind of feel your body kind of shut down, too. So you’re only going to diminish, I’m only going to diminish physically, and I kind of wanted to go out on my own terms. That was kind of important to me.”

A trio of somewhat recent MLB retirees, including a former Seattle Mariners player, were somewhat of an inspiration to May, too.

“I followed Buster Posey, Kyle Seager and Lorenzo Cain’s lead – 34 sounds like a good year.”

Trevor May on never playing for the Mariners

May makes his home in the Seattle area, and he’s been open about the fact that he wanted to play for the Mariners, who he grew up rooting for. While it never came to be – he played six years with Minnesota, two with the Mets, and last season with Oakland – what if he received a call this offseason from Seattle?

“Not fielding that call would be very hard, obviously, because it’s something I’ve been very open about,” he said. “That was something I really wanted to do this year.”

May said he may have actually hurt his chances to sign with other teams in free agency before last season due to the fact that he was holding out hope that something would come together with the Mariners. He’s understanding about why it seemed he wasn’t a fit for Seattle’s bullpen ahead of 2023, though.

“I held out, honestly. I had some conversations with some other teams that kind of fell apart because I sabotaged them a little bit to try to waste time. I’m not proud of that,” he said. “… It wasn’t really realistic. There was a little bit – like, conversations were happening but there wasn’t a lot of excitement, I wasn’t sensing much excitement. Obviously, I wasn’t on the calls, either – that’s not really how that works, you’ve got to get to a certain point before you’re talking to them (instead of just your agent). It is what I wanted, because a lot of things I talked about – family and missing things – a lot of that would have been better, way better by just living in my own home and driving down the road 10 minutes to the park. Travel would have been much easier and my wife could have been here with her family and her friends. It could have been much, much better but it just didn’t happen. And there’s no hard feelings there either way.

“I just don’t think I fit into the plan, and just judging by comments made and the way that interviews work with the powers that be with the M’s, it would have been cool to really buy in from a fan and player standpoint. That would have been really cool for me and very easy to do. I think I would have had a lot of fun interacting with people and helping build, being part of the northwest baseball community because I feel like I’m not part of it, really, because I’m gone all the time. That would have been awesome, I would have really enjoyed it. But, you know, I just don’t see a world where it would be something I’d be excited to do (now), and I don’t know if I would have fit into the philosophy of how the team’s put together.”

Listen to the full Wyman and Bob conversation with Trevor May in the podcast at this link, or in either the video or audio player near the top of this post.

Mariners lose reliever Penn Murfee to Mets on waiver claim

Wyman & Bob

Wyman and Bob


Seattle Sports Video

Video: What is your confidence level in this Seattle Seahawks team making the playoffs?

What is your confidence level in this Seattle Seahawks team making the NFL playoffs? With teams like the 49ers and Eagles still left on their schedule, what games are ‘must win’ this late in the season? Dave Wyman and Bob Stelton discussed that and the implications it has on the rest of this season. Do […]

2 days ago


Seattle Sports Video

Video: What were the Seattle Seahawks thinking watching the 49ers beat the Eagles?

What were the Seattle Seahawks thinking watching the San Francisco 49ers beat the Philadelphia Eagles? What did it reveal about both of the Seahawks next two opponents? Dave Wyman and Bob Stelton discussed that and why they might have a different way to approach their match-up this week. What was the biggest thing they learned? […]

3 days ago


Seattle Sports Video

Video: What could’ve been different for the Seattle Seahawks on final 4th down play?

As the Thursday Night Football match-up with the Dallas Cowboys was ending, what could’ve been different for the Seattle Seahawks on final 4th down play? Did the blocking have a bigger role in not converting compared to something else? How do they fix it before their next game? Dave Wyman and Bob Stelton discuss that […]

6 days ago


Seattle Sports Video

Video: Why will the Seattle Seahawks win on Thursday?

Why will the Seattle Seahawks win on Thursday Night Football against the Dallas Cowboys? What will the key to a potential victory be for the Seahawks? Bob Stelton and Mike Lefko discuss that and just how the Seahawks might be able to surprise Dallas. Watch a snippet of their discussion here or click the link […]

8 days ago

Seattle Mariners Eugenio Suárez...

Brent Stecker

Morosi: After Mariners’ Suárez trade, ‘there has to be something next’

MLB Network insider Jon Morosi explained to Wyman and Bob what he thinks the Seattle Mariners could be looking to do next after the trade of Eugenio Suárez.

9 days ago


Seattle Sports Video

Video: Seahawks-49ers Instant Reaction: Dave Wyman on 31-13 Seattle loss

Seattle Seahawks Radio Network broadcaster and former NFL linebacker Dave Wyman checks in from Lumen Field with his instant reaction to the Hawks’ loss on Thanksgiving night to the rival San Francisco 49ers. Be sure to catch Dave weekdays from 2-7 p.m. on Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob.

13 days ago

Why Washington native Trevor May is retiring after a decade in MLB