When Lopez got released by Boston last September after they traded for him to try to replace Jason Varitek short-term, I kind of had the feeling that Javy was finished. With Colorado releasing him halfway through the spring schedule, that's almost a certainty.
The Rockies say they released Lopez now so that he'd have time to catch on with another team. Javy says he doesn't want to go back to the AL and be a DH. On the one hand, you wonder what Lopez thinks of his performance and remaining abilities that he should get to dictate any terms on staying in the major leagues. But really, if he wants to be a catcher or nothing, he's earned that. The dude had a really nice career, starring as the catcher for the majority of Atlanta's amazing run. He's an old, worn-down catcher. It's as simple as that.
I lost patience with Lopez last season (and the season before, really), but it's not like he was so offensive that I'm going to dislike him forever. And I still say a lot of his gripes with the O's were legitimate.
This is probably it for him. He could catch on somewhere else, I guess, but his days as an effective player are gone. Maybe he's just the type of guy that can't handle the transition from being a starter to being a role player, or from being a good to bad player, but hey, maybe he just doesn't want to.
If this is it, then happy trails, Javy, and enjoy retirement. There are a lot of fans in Atlanta that are going to remember you very fondly. Sometimes careers end loudly, with celebrations at the ballpark and teary-eyed speeches recollecting the player's time spent in the greatest game in the world. Most often, though, they end like this, or like BJ Surhoff's did, with the player probably hoping to keep going, and finding his phone doesn't ring anymore.