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Yankees' Troy Tulowitzki Announces Retirement After 13 MLB Seasons

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 25, 2019

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 03:  Troy Tulowitzki #12 of the New York Yankees stands in the dugout before the game against the Detroit Tigers at Yankee Stadium on April 03, 2019 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

New York Yankees shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is retiring. 

Tulowitzki released a statement through the team announcing his decision.

"For as long as I can remember, my dream was to compete at the highest level as a Major League Baseball Player ... to wear a big league uniform and play hard for my teammates and fans," he wrote. "I will forever be grateful for every day that I've had to live out my dream. It has been an absolute honor."

Mark Feinsand @Feinsand

Troy Tulowitzki has released a statement through the Yankees announcing his retirement: https://t.co/dbOjPrwyLq

The Yankees signed Tulowitzki to a one-year deal in January as they needed a shortstop to fill in for an injured Didi Gregorius. The 34-year-old has appeared in just five games, though, going 2-for-11 at the plate with one home run and one RBI.

Tulowitzki hasn't played since going on the injured list with a calf strain in April. 

This is a disappointing end to a career derailed by injuries.

Between 2007 and 2014, Tulowitzki was 17th among position players in WAR (33.1) and the second-best shortstop behind Hanley Ramirez, per FanGraphs. 

Christopher Crawford @Crawford_MILB

From 2009-2014, Troy Tulowitzki had an OPS+ of 137, and he did it while playing sensational defense at shortstop. One of the best at the position I ever saw.

He was on pace for a career year in 2014, with 21 home runs, 52 RBI and a 1.035 OPS through 91 games before undergoing surgery for a torn labrum. Still, by the end of that season, he was a four-time All-Star, two-time Gold Glove winner and two-time Silver Slugger. 

Not only did Tulowitzki struggle to remain healthy after that, but he also wasn't the same player upon returning for 2015. The beginning of the end arrived in 2017, when he was limited to 66 games after being diagnosed with ligament damage in his right ankle. Then he was out for all of 2018 after undergoing surgery to remove bone spurs in both of his feet.

If he had stayed healthy for a few more years, Tulowitzki might have compiled a Hall of Fame-worthy resume. He ranks 26th at shortstop in Baseball Reference's JAWS metric, which attempts to put a player's career up against those who have been enshrined in Cooperstown. 

Tulowitzki has a JAWS score of 42.2, well below the average of 55.0 for Hall of Fame shortstops. That it's even that high shows how great the 13-year veteran was in his prime and serves as another reminder of what might have been.


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