from a fan standpoint, Buster Posey. from a rational standpoint, good call Buster.


Same with Cain


Posey was out


I agree, Posey should have retired years before he did.


Will Clark still had a lot left. He retired after his age 36 season after hitting .319/.418/.546 (145 OPS+) in 507 PAs, and posting a 132 OPS+ his last 4 years combined, so not a fluke. His official reasoning was that he wanted to spend more time hunting.


If memory is correct, he was on deck to end the game in his last appearance ever, game 5 of the 2000 NLCS




That's awesome. I love Will Clark even more now.


Cause the Summer is peak hunting season?


I believe he has a child with special needs that he wanted to spend more time with.


Mariners edition: Kyle Seager retired at 33 and had a few good years left in him, especially with the shift ban starting. But sounds like he's happy spending more time with his family so good for him. Felix should have retired at the end of his Mariners contract in 2019.


imo seager was a medium fish in a small pond with us, he had his good years but wasn’t spectacular and our team was outgrowing him. i think he retired at the right time


I would not be mad if he signed with the Rangers and played with Corey


Has Felix pitched in the majors since 2019?


He attempted seasons with the Braves and Orioles, I believe, but one season ended with injury/surgery and then the other ended because of COVID (he opted out). IIRC he never technically retired, but he's entering the M's HOF this year, so that's likely the closest we'll get.


My toxic trait is believing Felix would've been comeback player of the year with ATL in 2020 if he didn't opt out


With the likes of Colon, Haraang, Anibal in our track record....we were all expecting honestly.


Nailed it. Only player I could add would be Ichiro playing like 3 or 4 games in 2019.


Carlos Delgado if the DH existed in the NL (to be fair I haven't looked up his final years stats but I feel like could have got to 500 homers. Barry Sanders is the overall answer. Should have retired sooner? Brad Hand after his time in Washington before Toronto.


Delgado injured his hip early in his last season (at age 37), and just wasn't able to come back from it. If it weren't for that injury, he possibly reaches 500 homers during that season, and if not, definitely would have reached it the next season.


If he hits 500 he may be on the Hof ballot longer. He deserved more than one and done.


If he hits 500 home runs he’s in the HOF instantly. Thats how the HOF works lol


Shit, the Lions have had it happen to them twice with Sanders and Calvin Johnson.


Show how absolutely horrid the Lions have been. Had 2 stud players in their prime retire rather than continue to lose


Steve Carlton should have retired after 1984. He might have one of the worst end of career arcs for a Hall of Famer ever.


IIRC, he had money stolen from him by his financial manager (or something like that). He kept playing because he needed the money,


Baseball analyst Ron Shandler even named a trope after it, “The Steve Carlton Path to Retirement.” > **Steve Carlton Path to Retirement** > > Hang around the majors long enough for your numbers to become so wretched that people begin to forget your past successes. > > Classic cases include Jose Mesa, Doc Gooden, Nomar Garciaparra and of course, Steve Carlton. Recent players who have taken this path include Miguel Tejada, Travis Hafner, Jason Bay, Brian Roberts and Kevin Youkilis. Current players who could be on a similar course include Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Dan Uggla. The opposite was the “George Brett Path to Retirement,” and his examples were Mike Mussina, Billy Wagner, Chipper Jones and Mariano Rivera.


I remember watching Jose Mesa when he was on the Phillies. I never knew he used to be elite.


Giants/White Sox/Indians/Twins legend Steve Carlton.


He’s in the photo at the White House when the 1987 Twins went following victory (he wasn’t good enough to make the postseason roster, but he was on the team at the end of the year). Standing in the back with his sunglasses on, one news agency simply didn’t recognize him and labeled him “secret service agent” in the caption of their photo.


I keep thinking Tom Seaver retired just in time to avoid being on the 1987 Twins staff, because every other old pitcher active that season seems to have ended up there via trade.


first players that pop into my head: * buster posey * robinson cano


I’m surprised this thread was up for 30 minutes before Posey was mentioned. He definitely had some productive years left in the tank. I think he definitely gets in - maybe even on the first ballot - but one or two more productive years and he’s without question a first ballot HoFer.


Apparently, Buster needed 4 hours of pregame physical therapy in order to keep his hips in shape in 2021. It worked out on the field, but it took too much time away from his family.


Billy Wagner had a 275 ERA+ in his final season


Thats insane


Also a reminder than Wagner is a natural righty who broke his right arm in his teens and switched to throwing left.


It was probably worth it to get 3,000 hits, but Ichiro fell off a cliff after his peak ended. From 2011-2019 he racked up 3395 PA with a .268/.309/.342/.652 line, an 83 OPS+, and 5.2 bWAR (1.0 bWAR/650).


I give late-career Ichiro a pass because he was still a playable 4th outfielder, unlike a lot of guys mentioned here. Bad teams like the Marlins could do a lot worse with the roster spot than 40yo Ichiro, he was a platoon bat who provided good outfield D


For Ichiro it was worth it just for the spectacle of a 45 year old batting in a modern MLB game


I never fault somebody for sticking around along as somebody is willing to pay them. $2M to be a bad player? Yea sign me up forever.


> $2M “That amount is called my quote. That’s my rate. So the next job I’m offered, they have to pay that same amount. Even if I do a bad job.” - Ichiro


Unprofessional bool-shit


Ichiro's second (or third, or fourth?) act reminds me of the Mars Volta/ATDI guys; keep doing your thing if anyone will let you and occasionally you get Ichiro's magical 2016, or a later era TMV banger like Octahedron. Then he came back to Seattle and produced his equivalent of Noctourniquet, where you're looking at/listening to a thing you ostensibly like, but... the good part just never comes. If he hadn't hung around, we wouldn't have gotten to see him on the mound!


Just as he hit the ground... rule double


you should have seen, that curve that flew right by you (mr bergstrom side note: Ichiro actually threw a cromulent slider in his lone mound appearance)


Noctourniquet is a better album than Octahedron.


i'm impressed you can get anything out of that album. it's so opaque to me


Idk it's got a gothic/cosmic horror vibe to me i really like. Think Poe/Ligotti/Barron.


David Ortiz either had something left in the tank, or used it all up before retiring. I know this last half a season made it worth it, but Pujols. Jesus man... That last like 6 years was rough.


The end of Pujols' career is like a dementia patient, long past any moments of lucidity, suddenly giving a lecture on geopolitics before finally succumbing to their illness.


Iirc Ortiz said his legs were shot that season, especially in the second half. If true, it helps explain some of his splits such as his doubles in the first vs second half of the season.


I do not mind that Papi retired when he did, even if he showed he could absolutely still do it. It was one last incredible, special thing to watch him go out on top like that.


I’m glad Papi went out on top of his game. Such a great way to wrap it up. I wish Luis Tiant had retired sooner and not hung on, damaging his legacy in his last few years.


Honestly I feel like Papi could still mash to this day, he was incredible in his last season and definitely had more in the tank. I don't blame him for going out on a high note though.


His feet were done. They were so messed up by the time he retired it wasnt funny. https://nesn.com/2016/10/david-ortiz-was-essentially-playing-on-stumps-dhs-physical-therapist-said/


You talking about Dodger legend Albert Pujols?


Pete Rose should have retired wayyy sooner


Nah. His counting stats are the biggest thing of his career


And everybody hates him for padding them.


I wonder if he would inscribe an autographed ball, "I'm sorry I padded my stats."


I don’t think he’s ever been sorry about anything.


Sure, but he'll write anything with an autograph if you're paying him.


If you pay him he’ll write anything you want


People generally hate him for being a sexual predator and for shit like drilling Ray Fosse in the ASG.


Oh of course, him being a monster is much worse than him being a selfish stat-padder.


The stat padding is in line with his character, for sure. Just another reason to dislike the guy.


Everybody hates him for padding them, but nobody would talk about him if he didn’t.


“I’d take that deal.”


I believe Jamie Moyer could have gotten to 50.


i remember him serving up HRs left and right and always wondered why tf they didn’t put anyone else out on the mound but i guess when you’re the 5th starter in that insane rotation it doesn’t matter


Surprised no one has said Andruw Jones yet. Literally played himself out of being a first ballot HOFer.


Took way too much scrolling to see this answer. Hopefully he eventually gets in, but I never would’ve guessed that would be a question.


That’s a tough one. He wouldn’t have reached 400 homers if he didn’t play until he was 33 and he retired at 35. If he retired after his last gold glove he would’ve only been 30. At that point he only had a 114 career ops+ and 61 career bWAR. Those stats don’t really stand out much. Granted he is considered to be an all time fielder.


John Smoltz hung in a year too long


Even he trashed his pitching the year he was with the Red Sox


Too Soon: Prince Fielder via neck Too Late: Julio Franco via AARP


Hey, hey now, Franco's third act was a delight.


Gods I miss that massive swing of his. It felt like he had his arms extended the entire time


Separating the art from the artist Omar Vizquel hung around way too long as a player. I loved Hanley Ramirez as a teenager he’s still my all time favorite player, but seeing him in Boston and Cleveland extremely out of shape was rough. There were times when he looked exactly like those James Harden/Mark Henry memes especially when he was in spring training and BP uniforms.




Bonds should’ve played longer and got 800 home runs but the league wouldn’t let him


I’ll die mad about this.


I wish the Giants would sign him today for 1 day on the roster, and then do it every 10 years to keep him on the HOF ballot until the voters get their head out of their ass


Doesn't deserve it just based on what an insane level piece of shit human he is


As shitty as he is as a human. He’s just as great of a ball player. The best any of us have seen with our own eyes. It equals out, he was unbelievable.


Carlos Zambrano had a lackluster final season and even pitched well in the minors in his age 32 season, but never played in MLB again. Dude could’ve had a solid 4+ year career as a backend starter and still been under 36 if he retired after those 4 seasons.


Out of all the 2012 Marlins disaster after disaster Carlos Zambrano was one of the worst performers only to be “outdone” by Heath Bell. 18 year old me at the time was just so excited and naive that my team actually spent money on free agents for once that in my foolish excitement I thought we were getting 2006 Carlos Zambrano lol.


Big Z had signed a 90m contract and had acquired generational wealth. At that point. It’s different now, players are loaded and don’t have to do the Steve Carlton thing….


Ryan Zimmerman should have retired after the Nats won the WS. He wasn’t bad during the covid year but it just seemed like a waste.


Zimmerman actually opted out for the COVID year, so it makes sense he'd want a retirement tour. Plus, he put up a 104 ops+ when the nats went into the season trying to compete and the 2021 season pushed him just across 40 bwar, I think that's fine.


Too Soon: Will Clark. He was still an All Star-caliber player when he retired, though he never got the respect he deserved. Even worse, if he had played another three or four years and kept up with his production from the previous three seasons, you'd have a very strong Hall of Fame case for the man. Too Late: Willie Mays. From 1951 until 1971, he was one of the best ballplayers on the planet. In 1972 and 1973, he was quite possibly the worst player in professional baseball. Too Late, Honorary Mention: Julio Franco was washed up by age 38. He'd play another *ten seasons*.


Mays had a 131 OPS+ in 1972 and was a 0.0 WAR player in 1973. Those don’t strike me as overly bad, just a pretty normal level of decline, not terrible at all.


Willie Mays last career hit was actually pretty cool even though it gets forgotten somehow. He redeemed himself for misplaying a ball in the 9th by getting a single in his last ab against hofer Rollie Fingers and then scoring the go ahead run to help the Mets win game two of the 1973 WS taking the A’s to 7 games surprisingly.


Not what he was, but a .358 OBP and 100 OPS+ in those last 8 seasons was at least somewhat useful by Franco.


The argument (which may or may not be true) is that Mays started making good financial decisions late in his career. The $165 K he made in each of his last couple of years were the best money of his career, so he took it. He could definitely still hit in ‘72, btw, but injuries took away ‘73.


Mariano Rivera’s final season sported a 2.11 ERA in 64 innings. He was 43, so I guess that’s a good time to hang it up lol


Ted Williams had a 184 WRC+ his final year. And I’d be very happy if Corbin retired.


Posey had a few good years left in him, especially if he wanted to transition out of catcher.


I felt like both cliff lee and bonds retired early


Cliff Lee tore his flexor tendon in 2014 and at his age if he carried on it wouldn’t have turned out well most likely.


Bonds got blackballed. He would’ve kept playing


Yeah he definitely could have DH to extend his career but it’s too bad he got blackballed


He was 850 HRs easy. Even if the intentional walking continued.


From a health standpoint (especially given medical technology in the 60s), his retirement made sense, but as a fan, I wish Sandy Koufax would have kept going. Dude only lasted like 10 real seasons but he's absolutely a top five all time pitcher


I’m only gonna answer the first part… Prince Fielder… absolute shame an injury made him retire.


Mark Buerhle probably could've pitched another few seasons


Yogi Berra should have retired earlier. I can remember seeing him not being able to throw down to second. This is a great hall of famer past his prime.


Deion Sanders could have been a fun baseball player if it wasn’t for the whole football thing Led the league in triples with a .300+ avg as a 24yr old, didn’t even play in 96 after playing really well for the Giants in 95


Even though he was a super exciting player, he was the opposite of Bo Jackson where he was better suited as a full time football player. He wouldn’t be “Primetime” and such a legendary figure in Football and highly regarded coach today if he just played baseball. However if this was a football version of this question Deion Sanders unfortunately is someone who should have retired sooner. It was rough seeing Primetime get torched in the backfield when he was on the Ravens those two years in 2004-2005. Even other HOFER Ed Reed couldn’t pick up the slack for him in the backfield.


Bo was amazing. However if he would of been a full time running back, it would have been amazing. He absolutely was more skilled in football., while being great at both.


If Tony Gwynn had retired 2 years earlier, he would have had a .340 career batting average.


One more season for mussina would’ve been cool. Missed a ring by a year.


If Andruw Jones had retired after the Braves, he'd probably be in the HOF already...


Brett Gardner


I can’t tell which half of the question you’re answering.




Mike Mussina won 20 games in his last year. Robinson Cano could’ve probably quit after 2017.


Surprised I haven’t seen anyone say Biggio yet, he sucked towards the end. One of the worst seasons from a HOF all time in 2008(?). Probability worth it to get 3000.


Adam LaRoche


If Felix Hernandez had retired after the 2016 season his career ERA would have been 3.16 instead of 3.42. While his career IP would go down by 314.2, he’d still have 2,415 innings on his arm, or 201.1 per season played. You’d also take away 260 Ks (career total goes from 2524 to 2264) but you’d also erase his two worst WHIP seasons, his three worst HR/9 seasons, his worst and third-worst H/9 seasons, his third- and fourth-worst BB/9 seasons, and his second- and fourth-worst K/BB seasons. Having only 12 seasons instead of 15 wouldn’t look as great for the HoF but being so much more dominant over 12 seasons instead of good over 15 would cancel that out in my opinion


Mark Buehrle could've probably added 20+ wins on his HoF resume but my guy just wanted to fish. Respect.


Barry Sanders


Matt Carpenter and Matt Carpenter And yes I know he’s still active.


I have moderately to mildly raised hopes for Matt.


I'll just say when his career ended, Clemente had a couple more seasons left and sitting on 3000 hits exactly is just wrong.


I can't tell if this is a serious comment or an extremely sarcastic one.


pujols was pretty shit for the past 6-7 years. until 2022 of course when mlb got into some shenanigans feeding him juiced balls.


If the guy has lost the desire to play and his hearts not in it then it is what it is. Baseball season is a long grind. Probably more mentally draining than physically. I reckon lots of guys step away when they can’t handle the mental grind. Just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean you want to do it. These are human beings with lives outside of baseball. I’m sure a lot of it is based on family stuff too.


How is Keuchel not mentioned? Complete collapse and so many failed attempts to come back…


But he’s married to Kelly Nash so he’s got that going for him


Ortiz and Posey definitely had some good seasons left in them. It’s time for Miggy to retire though.


Chipper Jones. Simply because I was living in Texas his last two seasons and I didn't get to see him "one more time". I was back the next season and he was done. I, a grown man, cried when I realized I wouldn't make it back to game that last season


I know this one will ruffle some feathers, but living in Wisconsin, I know there were a number of Brewers fans who were disappointed that Ryan Braun's last year was 2020 and he didn't get a proper send off. He was still productive, too.


That was indeed a proper send off.


Cal Ripken Jr. His farewell season ended with a HORRIFIC slump that actually cost him a few points off his career slash line. Srsly, go look it up.


Mike Mussina’s last year was pretty good. 3.37 ERA over 200 innings at age 39. Only 30 wins away from 300