Jason Bartlett will retire after ten seasons in the Major Leagues, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. The Twins have asked him to reconsider, but it isn’t likely, Berardino adds.
Bartlett, 34, joined the Twins on a minor league deal over the off-season suffered an ankle injury on April 7 after replacing Josh Willingham, who was also injured. He was used almost exclusively as a shortstop throughout his career, showing adept defense despite not doing much with the bat. Over 3,521 career plate appearances, Bartlett has a career .702 OPS.
We at Hardball Talk wish Bartlett the best as he heads into retirement.
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that Jason Bartlett has agreed to a minor-league deal with Minnesota, where he started at shortstop from 2005-2007 before being traded to Tampa Bay in the Delmon Young-Matt Garza swap.
Bartlett was injured and ineffective in 2012 and sat out all of this season, so at age 34 there’s no telling if he has anything left in the tank. He hasn’t topped a .700 OPS since 2009, but the Twins are always in need of middle infield help and there’s no risk to a non-roster invitation to spring training.
He’ll likely compete for a job backing up Pedro Florimon and Brian Dozier.
Where might Delmon Young land now that he’s been released by the Phillies? How about back where it all started for him in Tampa Bay? Seriously.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports “mutual interest and conversations” between the Rays and Young, who was drafted first overall by Tampa Bay in 2003 and made his MLB debut there in 2006 before later being traded to Minnesota for Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett.
As the Phillies learned Young drags a team down offensively and defensively as an everyday player, but if used as a part-timer versus left-handed pitching he might be sort of useful. He’s a career .306 hitter with an .820 OPS versus lefties, compared to .273 with a .706 OPS versus righties, and the Rays could also stick him at designated hitter to alleviate Young’s massive defensive issues.