Braun, via the Brewers' official Twitter account, officially announced his retirement from baseball Tuesday. Braun had been leaning toward retiring all season, and he has now officially decided to hang up the cleats. Braun spent his entire career with the Brewers after being drafted by the club in 2005, and he finishes with 352 home runs, 1,154 RBI, 216 stolen bases and a .891 OPS in 1,766 career games over 14 big-league seasons. He was a six-time All-Star and also was the 2007 NL Rookie of the Year and 2011 NL MVP.
Braun visited Brewers camp Monday but is still "strongly leaning" toward retiring, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Braun's presence at camp may have led some to believe he is considering playing this season, and he did not close the door on that happening, saying, "Until I get to a point where I've completely made my mind up, I just don't see any sense in making (retirement) official." However, he did ultimately reaffirm his comments from February, when he said he isn't "currently interested in playing" baseball in 2021, and added that his "top priority is parenting."
Braun (oblique) continues to participate in workouts but isn't "currently interested in playing" baseball in 2021, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports. Milwaukee declined the 37-year-old's $15 million mutual option for 2021 back in October, and he's been enjoying time with his family during the offseason. Braun indicated he's not officially retired and will "stay in touch with the Brewers," but he seems unlikely to be back on the field this season with spring training already on the horizon. He appeared in 39 games during 2020 and had a .233/.281/.488 slash line with eight homers and 26 RBI in 139 plate appearances while splitting time as a designated hitter and right fielder.
Braun (oblique) was listed on the list of free agents provided by the MLBPA on Thursday, indicating that the Brewers have officially declined his $15 million dollar mutual option for 2021. This comes as no surprise, with $15 million far exceeding the 36-year-old outfielder's value at this point in his career. The former National League MVP has mentioned the possibility of retiring after the 2020 season, though a return to Milwaukee for a 15th season with the Brewers remains a possibility. He could also draw interest from other teams looking to add a low-cost right-handed bat this winter.
Braun, who is not in the lineup for Game 2 of the NL Wild Card Series against the Dodgers on Thursday, said the injury he is dealing with is actually a strained left oblique, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports. Braun was reported to be dealing with mid-back discomfort, but it's actually the veteran outfielder's oblique that is keeping him out of the lineup Thursday. This is significant news, as oblique injuries often linger for multiple weeks. All that being said, manager Craig Counsell did not rule out the possibility of using the 36-year-old as a pinch hitter during the win-or-go-home tilt.
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