Kendrys Morales retires after 13 seasons, 213 career home runs

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Friday, February 7, 2020

First baseman/designated hitter Kendrys Morales is retiring from baseball, he told ESPN's Marly Rivera on Friday, after a career that spanned 13 seasons and seven teams.

Morales, 36, posted a combined .194 average with two home runs in 201 plate appearances between the Oakland Athletics and New York Yankees last season. New York released him in July.

"Making the decision was difficult, right? But all things in life come to an end," Morales told Rivera. "I spent many years, since Cuba, playing baseball, and I gave up a lot of time I would have spent with my family. That is the one of the reasons I have decided to retire, to see if I can recover some of that lost time. Also, Major League Baseball has changed, and maybe veteran ballplayers such as myself are not valued, so this is the right time to make this decision.

"It is hard, but it is the right decision for both me and my family."

Morales defected from Cuba in 2004 -- his eighth attempt to leave the country, he said -- and signed a six-year,$3 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels that year.

In 2009, his first full season in the majors, Morales hit 34 home runs with 108 RBIs and a .569 slugging average.

He may be best remembered for an incident in 2010, when he hit a walk-off grand slam against the Seattle Mariners on May 29. As he neared home plate to celebrate with his teammates, he jumped in the air and landed awkwardly, breaking his lower right leg. He missed the rest of that season as well as the next while recovering from the injury and dealing with complications in his rehab.

Morales also played for the Mariners, Kansas City Royals, Minnesota Twins and Toronto Blue Jays. He won a World Series title with Kansas City in 2015.

He finishes his career with 213 home runs, 740 RBIs and a .265 batting average.