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Javy Lopez retires from baseball

March 22, 2008 at 4:27 PM

VIERA, Fla., March 22 (UPI) -- Three-time All-Star catcher Javy Lopez Saturday retired from major league baseball.

The 37-year-old Lopez did not play in 2007 after being waived by the Colorado Rockies during spring training, and signed a minor-league contract with the Braves last off-season in hope of earning a spot as a backup.

On Saturday he was informed he would not make the big league roster before a contest against the Washington Nationals.

"We just think (Lopez) needs more time," Manager Bobby Cox had said on the team's Web site before Lopez made his decision. "He caught and received the ball really well. He blocked really good. Throwing, he needs more time back there."

In 15 seasons, he was a career .287 hitter with 260 home runs and 864 RBI. His best season was 2003 when he a career-high 43 homers and 109 RBI.

He struggled in spring training, hitting just .188 with two homers in 32 at-bats.

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