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MLB: Carlos Beltran announces retirement

Less than two weeks after he captured with the Astros the World Series championship that had eluded him, the 40-year-old Beltran announced his retirement. The nine-time All-Star and likely Hall of Famer made a decision that many had expected official Monday morning via an essay on The Players’ Tribune.

Beltran spent parts of two of his 20 major league seasons as a member of the Astros, first in 2004 after a midseason trade from the Kansas City Royals and then in 2017 after signing a one-year, $16-million contract last winter. Though his production lacked in his second go-around with the team, Beltran was revered by teammates for his veteran leadership and wisdom.

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For his career, Beltran was a .279/.350/.486 hitter, good for an OPS+ of 119, but his bat wasn’t all he brought to the table. It’s easy to forget now when he’s 40 years old and a guy who should always be the DH when he plays, but he was once one of the best defensive center fielders in the game, and his efficiency on the basepaths was a highlight for years: He stole 312 bases in his career and was caught just 49 times, good for an 86 percent success rate.

“I am blessed to have played this game for 20 years,” Beltran wrote. “I am blessed to have played for so many great organizations.

“And I am blessed to be a champion. But now, my time as a player has come to an end.”

Beltran is one of the great players of his era, and he should be a Hall of Famer. Whether he actually gets voted in is another story — one to debate five years from now when he’s eligible.

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Categories: Sports