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4-time All-Star Kinsler announces retirement

@AndrewSimonMLB
December 20, 2019

Four-time All-Star second baseman Ian Kinsler is retiring from baseball and will serve as an advisor to baseball operations for the Padres, the club announced on Friday afternoon. “Ian had a long and distinguished career and will go down as one of the best second basemen of his generation,” said

Four-time All-Star second baseman Ian Kinsler is retiring from baseball and will serve as an advisor to baseball operations for the Padres, the club announced on Friday afternoon.

“Ian had a long and distinguished career and will go down as one of the best second basemen of his generation,” said Padres general manager A.J. Preller. “We’re excited to have him join our front office to share his passion for the game and experience as a World Series champion. His breadth of baseball knowledge will be extremely beneficial to our organization.”

Kinsler, who signed a two-year contract with San Diego before last season, was due to make $3.75 million in 2020, with a $3.5 million club option ($500,000 buyout) for ‘21. He and the Padres will work out a financial settlement, a source told MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell.

The 37-year-old Kinsler, a two-time Gold Glove Award winner, recorded 1,999 career hits, batting .269/.337/.440 with 257 homers, 1,243 runs scored and 243 stolen bases over 14 Major League seasons with the Rangers, Tigers, Angels, Red Sox and Padres.

In an article published by The Athletic, Kinsler told MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal that a herniated cervical disk he sustained last season -- which prevented him from playing after Aug. 12 -- contributed to his retirement.

“To be honest, it was a factor in my decision,” Kinsler told Rosenthal. “My pride wouldn’t let me go halfway at something that I’ve been doing at 100 percent for my whole baseball life.”

Kinsler was drafted three times, ultimately signing with the Rangers after they took him in the 17th round out of the University of Missouri in 2003. From that relatively humble start came great success. Kinsler broke into the Majors with Texas in '06 and quickly became an integral part of a team that won back-to-back American League pennants from '10-11.

Sent to Detroit in a blockbuster one-for-one trade for Prince Fielder (and cash considerations) in November 2013, Kinsler continued to produce. In the 10 years from '07-16, his 50.9 WAR (per Baseball Reference) ranked sixth among all MLB position players, behind a group that featured Adrián Beltré, Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, and fellow second basemen Robinson Canó and Dustin Pedroia -- whose accomplishments in New York and Boston sometimes overshadowed Kinsler.

While his offensive numbers dropped off beginning in 2017, a trade from the Angels to the Red Sox the following July gave Kinsler the chance to win his first and only World Series championship that fall.

Kinsler then signed with the Padres. In 87 games last season, he hit .217/.278/.368 with nine home runs.

Andrew Simon is a research analyst for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB.