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Veteran reliever Ziegler announces retirement

MLB.com @SteveGilbertMLB

PHOENIX -- After 11 years in the big leagues, D-backs reliever Brad Ziegler announced Wednesday via Twitter that he was retiring from baseball.

"For the last 11 years, I've been living out the dream of almost every little boy that grows up in this great country and in many other countries around the world," Ziegler said in his Twitter message. "It's been absolute privilege to wear the uniforms of the four teams for which I played. But it's time for me to move on to the next chapter in my life, whatever that may be."

PHOENIX -- After 11 years in the big leagues, D-backs reliever Brad Ziegler announced Wednesday via Twitter that he was retiring from baseball.

"For the last 11 years, I've been living out the dream of almost every little boy that grows up in this great country and in many other countries around the world," Ziegler said in his Twitter message. "It's been absolute privilege to wear the uniforms of the four teams for which I played. But it's time for me to move on to the next chapter in my life, whatever that may be."

Ziegler, who turned 39 on Wednesday, said toward the end of the year he was considering retiring because at his age and with the injuries that have cropped up over the years, preparing for games had become much, much harder.

Tweet from @BradZiegler: Thank you to all my family, friends, and fans. It���s time to move on... pic.twitter.com/tsuTGHM9Dh

"The daily grind has taken its toll on my body," Ziegler said. "There were really tough times in the past two seasons when I wondered if I could physically continue doing what it would take to stay on the field, and even if I could continue perform at the level I always had."

The D-backs initially acquired Ziegler at the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline in 2011, and he played a key role on that team, which won the National League West.

Ziegler was dealt to the Red Sox in July 2016, and that offseason he signed a two-year deal with the Miami Marlins.

Arizona reacquired him this year at the Trade Deadline, and he pitched well for them even though the team came up short of a postseason berth.

Ziegler led the Majors in appearances this year with 82. Over the course of 739 career appearances, he compiled 105 saves and had an ERA+ of 149.

"I took great pride in taking the ball as often as I could," Ziegler said. "And I can thank the D-backs for giving me another chance to pitch in exciting, meaningful games down the stretch and prove to myself that I wasn't going to be pushed out of the game because I couldn't compete anymore -- I'm walking away knowing I still can."

Earlier this year, Ziegler was named to the D-backs' 20-Year Anniversary Team. He saved 62 games and had a 2.57 ERA while pitching in an Arizona uniform.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Brad Ziegler