Despite previous reports about his impending retirement Jorge Posada has not made an official announcement that he’s calling it quits, but the longtime Yankees catcher told Adam Berry of MLB.com that he’s “not getting prepared for another season, that’s for sure.”
Posada added that he “tried” to get ready to play in 2012 but “it’s not in me … more and more days started going by, and nothing’s going in the right direction.”
So why hasn’t he made things official yet? Posada said that he plans to talk things over with his family in order to be certain he’s making the right decision and will likely have an announcement in a couple weeks.
Posada struggled last season, hitting just .235 with a .714 OPS in 115 games while transitioning from catcher to designated hitter, but it’s worth noting that the 39-year-old switch-hitter batted .269 with an .814 OPS versus right-handed pitching. His brutal 6-for-65 (.069) mark versus lefties dragged his overall numbers down, but Posada remained plenty effective against righties.
Five years from now he’ll be an interesting Hall of Fame case, because voters tend to underrate catchers and Posada’s counting stats were likely hurt by getting a late start in the majors. Among all catchers with at least 5,000 plate appearances his .848 OPS ranks fifth in baseball history, sandwiched between Hall of Famers Gabby Hartnett and Yogi Berra, and even with his poor defense factored in he also ranks 12th all-time in Wins Above Replacement among catchers.
After 16 years in the majors, longtime Tigers DH Victor Martinez capped his career with one final start at Comerica Park. Although there are seven games remaining in the club’s regular season schedule, Martinez said he felt he owed it to the fans to record his final at-bat at home. He’ll still cheer the rest of the team on from the dugout when they hit the road for their last six-game stretch on Monday, though he’s not expected to slot into the lineup at any point during their back-to-back away series against the Twins and Brewers.
In order to commemorate the occasion, the Tigers arranged a pregame ceremony to celebrate the veteran infielder’s seven years with the team, during which they presented him with Topps baseball cards, a recliner, a pair of boots, and a saddle, among other honors. Martinez also put in a special request to play first base, a position he hadn’t manned in over two years.
The 39-year-old didn’t waste a single minute of his final start in the majors. He deftly handled an inning-ending out in the top of the first, then laced a rare infield single to short in his first and final at-bat of the afternoon, beating the throw to first and advancing Nicholas Castellanos to second base in order to set up the Tigers’ first run: a two-out RBI single from Niko Goodrum that brought Castellanos home to score.
“I think that at-bat was the perfect at-bat to describe my career,” Martinez told reporters after the Tigers wrapped a 5-4 win over the Royals. “I had to sweat it out. I had to sweat it out the whole way. I had to grind it. That was my whole career.”
Following the hit — and the standing ovation that greeted it — the switch-hitter was promptly replaced by pinch-runner Ronny Rodriguez, who subbed in at second base in the top of the second while Goodrum shifted from second to first base. Taking Saturday’s performance into account, Martinez polished off his big league career with a lifetime .295/.360/.455 batting line, 423 doubles, 246 home runs, 1,178 RBI, and 28.4 fWAR across 1,973 games and three separate stints for the Indians, Red Sox, and Tigers. His accomplishments at the plate have been decorated with five All-Star nominations, two Silver Slugger Awards, and the designated hitter-exclusive Edgar Martinez Award following a career-best campaign in 2014.