Sadly, the utility life of a baseball player is short. For many, it involves a compilation of injuries. For others, it’s simply a matter of age; you slow down, and younger athletes are always waiting in the wings. Here are some of the MLB players who need to retire ASAP.
7. Curtis Granderson
Some predicted Curtis Granderson to retire at the end of last season. But, Miami picked up the outfielder with a one-year, $1.75 million contract. Always a fan-favorite, he earned his way to three All-Star games, a Silver Slugger Award, and a Roberto Clemente Award. Granderson’s lifetime stats include 343 home runs, 936 RBIs, and a batting average of .249. But he’s batting a mere .185 this year. The 38-year-old has said he’s made peace with retirement; we anticipate this to be his last year.
6. Hunter Pence
Designated hitter Hunter Pence used to be a mainstay on the Giants’ roster, helping the team earn two World Series. Like Granderson, he was able to get a one-year contract for $2 million with the Rangers. The Dallas Morning News‘ Evan Grant said there’s a possibility Texas will sign Pence for another year. “He’s been a big addition this season,” Grant wrote. “But will the Rangers have a role for him next year at age 37? Tough to say.”
This year, Pence is batting a bit higher, at .297, than his lifetime average of .280. Perhaps, he’s glad to be back in Arlington, where he played in high school. Pence is showing his usefulness as a DH and part-time in right field, so we’ll have to wait and see.
5. Brian McCann
At 36, Brian McCann picked up a one-year contract for $2 million with the Braves. But, the catcher’s injury list continues to mount. Recently, he was on the 10-day injury list with a sprained knee. Through the years he’s suffered problems with his throwing arm, including a cyst and frayed muscle.
McCann has landed more than one concussion and multiple former knee problems. It should be noted that he’s earned the Silver Slugger award six times. In early 2018, Sportscaster predicted McCann would report to the Braves for coaching duty this year. Well, maybe next year.
4. Rich Hill
While still a viable pitcher when healthy, Rich Hill has a long string of injuries. The left-hander is in his final year of a three-year contract with the Dodgers. Hill has thrown a couple of bullpen sessions lately, following a flexor tendon strain in mid-June.
The playoff-bound LA team hopes Hill can return by mid-month and resume his role in the starting rotation through the World Series if warranted. Hill has a lifetime WAR of 13.2 with 65 wins and 42 losses. This year he has 4 wins and 1 loss to date.
3. Bartolo Colon
While we hate to say it, baseball managers are showing little interest for a 46-year-old right-handed starter. In August 2018, Bartolo Colon earned his 246th career win. Earlier in the year, he pitched a perfect game into the seventh inning, when he gave up a walk to Houston’s Carlos Correa.
While the Giants considered taking him in as Madison Bumgarner was considered for trade, it was deemed unnecessary with The Bum remaining in San Francisco. Colon, all the while, continues his free-agent status and has not retired. His record stands at 247 wins, 188 losses. Won’t someone throw the poor man a bone?
2. CC Sabathia
At 39, CC Sabathia is in his 19th season … or was. The New York Met left his August 30 start against Oakland with an injured right knee. Placed on the 10-day injury list, there is concern he may never return to the mound again. Age and injury are against him, after all.
According to the New York Post, “The 39-year-old lefty said he hoped and planned to be back this season, but made no guarantees.” Manager Aaron Boone said that it was too early to speculate as to whether Sabathia will return. He is currently on a one-year, $8 mil contract with the Mets. His career record ERA stands at 3.73 with 251 wins and 161 losses.
1. Fernando Rodney
The right-handed reliever’s career could have ended in 2018, but he signed a Triple-A contract with the Nationals in June. The team called Fernando Rodney up by the end of the month. Another pitcher who doesn’t want to end his career, he keeps chugging away.
Despite still being clocked with a 99-mph fastball this year, Rodney has a 5.59 era, and a -0.1 WAR on the season. His career ERA is 3.78 with a 7.6 WAR in a total of 938 game appearances since 2002. At 42, Rodney is the oldest player in the majors. He’ll likely hang up his cap the end of the year.