David Riske is a pretty notable cautionary tale regarding giving multi-year deals to relievers.
On this day in 1976, David Riske was born in Renton, Washington. The Indians drafted him in the 56th round of the 1996 draft, making him a pretty unlikely major leaguer. With that said, he was still drafted three rounds before the Mariners took Barry Zito with the 1587th overall pick. Zito didn't sign and went on to be the ninth overall pick three years later.
At any rate, Riske climbed the ladder to the big leagues quickly and debuted for Cleveland in 1999. He pitched six of the next seven seasons there and two more as a member of three other teams before becoming a free agent following the 2007 season and joining the Brewers. At the time, he had a career 3.40 ERA in 393 career relief appearances.
Riske got a three year contract from the Brewers worth $13 million, but his career took a downward turn almost immediately after he arrived in Milwaukee. He was plagued with injuries during his tenure and made just 69 appearances over three seasons, posting a 5.40 ERA in 66.2 innings.
The Brewers released Riske in August of 2010, and he hasn't pitched in organized baseball since. He was in camp with the Orioles this spring but didn't make the major league roster. B-Ref doesn't have any record of him pitching in the minors either.
- AZL Brewers Ronny Puello, who turns 22.
- 2004 Brewer Pedro Liriano, who turns 31.
- 1980 Brewer John Poff, who turns 59.