Yankees Mark Teixeira announces he will retire following the 2016 season
The Yankees' first baseman is in the final season of his contract
One of the most productive switch-hitters in recent baseball history is calling it career.
Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira announced his retirement, effective at the end of the 2016 season, at a press conference at Yankee Stadium on Friday.
"Every kid playing wiffle ball in the backyard or playing little league, you dream of being a major league baseball player," said Teixeira. "After 14 years, it's time for me to do something else. After this season I'm going to retire and do something else."
Teixeira, now 36, is in the final year of the eight-year, $180 million contract he signed with the Yankees during the 2008-09 offseason. He finished second in the AL MVP voting in 2009 and helped the Yankees win a World Series title that season.
So far this year Teixeira is hitting .198/.287/.340 (69 OPS+) with 10 home runs in 77 games around a knee injury and other nagging problems. Just last year he hit .255/.357/.548 (146 OPS+) with 31 homers in 111 games before a foul tip broke his shin.
Overall, Teixeira is a career .269/.361/.511 (127 OPS+) hitter with 400 doubles and 404 home runs in parts of 14 MLB seasons. He was originally drafted fifth overall by the Rangers in 2001. Teixeira also played with the Braves and Angels in addition to the Rangers and Yankees.
Few switch-hitters in history have hit for as much power as Teixeira. Here is where he ranks all-time among switch-hitters (min. 3,000 plate appearances for rate stats):
SLG: .511 (4th)
OPS: .872 (4th)
OPS+: 127 (8th)
Doubles: 400 (21st)
Home Runs: 404 (5th)
Extra-Base Hits: 822 (7th)
WAR: 52.1 (12th)
Teixeira is only one of four switch-hitters in history with 400 doubles and 400 home runs, joining Eddie Murray, Chipper Jones, and Carlos Beltran.
"I got to live out my dream and had more success than I could have ever imagined," said Teixeira. "It felt like it was the right for me to step away from the game. I want to finish my season on a high note ... I'm going to leave it all out there."
On top of the power, Teixeira was an outstanding defensive first baseman who probably should have won more than the five Gold Gloves he actually won. He was a three-time All-Star who received MVP votes in seven different seasons.
Teixeira told reporters in spring training he hoped to play five more years, preferably with the Yankees, but apparently he changed his mind as this season progressed. Perhaps the knee injury and poor performance had something to do with it.
The Yankees were widely expected to let Teixeira leave as a free agent after the 2016 season, and turn the first base reins over to young Greg Bird.
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