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2015 AL MVP Josh Donaldson says he’s retiring from baseball

 The Associated Press  |    Mar 4th, 2024 3:43pm EST

Josh Donaldson says he’s retiring after a 13-year career in which he was voted the 2015 AL MVP and was selected to three All-Star Games.

The 38-year-old announced his plans Monday during an appearance on “The Mayor’s Office,” a podcast hosted by former major league first baseman Sean Casey. Donaldson is a free agent after splitting last season between the New York Yankees and Milwaukee.

“It’s sad because I’ll be not able to go out there and play the game that I love anymore, but it’s also a very happy time that I get to be around the family and kind of take that next chapter in life,” said Donaldson, who noted that he got married during the offseason.

Donaldson was among the top third basemen from 2013-17 with Oakland and Toronto.

He finished fourth in the AL MVP balloting with Oakland in 2013 and won the award with Toronto two years later. During that 2015 season, Donaldson hit .297 with 41 homers and an AL-leading 123 RBIs. Donaldson also led the AL in total bases (352) and topped the majors in runs (122) that season while helping the Blue Jays reach the AL Championship Series, where they lost to Kansas City.

Donaldson earned three straight All-Star appearances from 2014-16 and was fourth in the AL MVP balloting in 2016. After injuries limited him to 113 games in 2017 and 52 games in 2018, Donaldson signed a $23 million, one-year contract with Atlanta and was 11th in the NL MVP voting after batting .259 with a .379 on-base percentage, 37 homers and 94 RBIs.

He signed a $92 million, four-year contract with Minnesota at age 34 but his play tailed off. Donaldson hit .222 with 60 homers, 171 RBIs, a .748 OPS and a 24.3% strikeout rate over that deal.

Minnesota dealt Donaldson to the Yankees ahead of the 2022 season. Donaldson hit .142 with 10 homers and 15 RBIs in 33 games with the Yankees last year, then was released last Aug. 29. He signed a minor league deal with the Brewers two days later, was called up Sept. 11 and hit .169 with three homers and 11 RBIs in 17 games.

“As things kind of kept transpiring, I just really felt it had to be a perfect situation for me to go back and play,” Donaldson said. “There were a couple of opportunities out there, but at the end of the day, things weren’t really clicking and meshing for myself to be ready and go into a season mentally and physically ready to play.”

Donaldson finishes hwith a .261 batting average, .358 on-base percentage, 279 homers and 816 RBIs in 1,383 regular-season games with Oakland (2010, 2012-14), Toronto (2015-18), Cleveland (2018), Atlanta (2019), Minnesota (2020-21), New York (2022-23) and Milwaukee (2023).


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The Associated Press