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10-year vet Alonso announces retirement

First baseman's playing days over, but not necessarily days in sport
@HarriganMLB
November 21, 2020

Veteran first baseman Yonder Alonso has decided to retire after a big league career spanning 10 seasons. The Cuban native made the announcement in an Instagram post on Friday afternoon, expressing gratitude to his family, his former teams and his agent. “I am forever grateful for what the game has

Veteran first baseman Yonder Alonso has decided to retire after a big league career spanning 10 seasons. The Cuban native made the announcement in an Instagram post on Friday afternoon, expressing gratitude to his family, his former teams and his agent.

“I am forever grateful for what the game has blessed me with and the friendships I’ve created,” Alonso wrote. “... Now it’s time to embrace whatever comes next, but most importantly, enjoy my beautiful kids and teach them all the lessons I’ve learned throughout this amazing journey."

The well-traveled first baseman was traded four times and played for seven teams in 10 years, making appearances with the Reds, Padres, A’s, Mariners, Indians, White Sox and Rockies.

Alonso signed a Minor League deal with the Braves last February and was part of Atlanta's 60-man player pool before the start of the season in July, but he didn't end up making an MLB appearance in 2020. He ends his career with 100 homers, 426 RBIs and a .259/.332/.404 slash line in 1,072 games.

Alonso was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1987, but his family defected to the United States in '96, and he attended the University of Miami before being selected by the Reds with the seventh overall pick in the 2008 MLB Draft.

After playing 69 games for Cincinnati from 2010-11, Alonso was traded to the Padres along with Yasmani Grandal, Edinson Vólquez and Brad Boxberger in exchange for right-hander Mat Latos. The first baseman spent four seasons with San Diego before being traded again, this time to the A’s in a deal that brought Drew Pomeranz to the Padres.

Alonso received the only All-Star selection of his career in 2017, hitting a career-high 28 homers with an .866 OPS over 142 games between Oakland and Seattle.

In an MLB Network Radio appearance on Saturday, Alonso made it clear that he hopes to remain involved in the game in some capacity.

“I do know I have a lot of insight,” Alonso said. “I do know that I can help so many young athletes -- not only the physical aspect of it, but the mental side of it, because I’ve been through it all. I was an All-Star, I was a role player, I was an everyday player, I was a bench player. Heck, at times I was a trainer. So I’ve done it all, and I feel like there’s nothing better than having a guy around the clubhouse or even just around the organization that has been through it all and can mesh with not only the Latin players but the American players.

“We’ll see what can happen and we’ll see what my future holds. But definitely looking back at it, it’s been an unbelievable career, and now it’s time for a new chapter and to really enjoy myself and enjoy this family that I have.”

Thomas Harrigan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @HarriganMLB.