Slugger Morales retires after 13 seasons

February 7th, 2020

officially announced his retirement from baseball on Friday in an interview with ESPN's Marly Rivera.

"Pasé muchos años, desde Cuba, jugando béisbol y perdí mucho tiempo con mi familia. Esa fue una de las causas por la que tomé la decisión de retirarme," Morales told Rivera. That roughly translates to: "For many years, since Cuba, I have played baseball and missed a lot of time with my family. That is one of the reasons I made the decision to retire."

After defecting from Cuba in 2004, Morales established residency in the Dominican Republic and signed a deal with the Angels. He debuted in the Majors in 2006 and broke out three years later, producing 34 homers with 108 RBIs and a .924 OPS en route to a fifth-place finish in the '09 American League MVP Award voting.

The first baseman appeared to be headed for another strong season in 2010, but he was suddenly stalled by a fractured left ankle, which he suffered in the celebration that followed his walk-off grand slam on May 29. Morales had to undergo multiple surgeries and ended up missing the rest of '10 and all of '11.

The slugger finally returned in 2012 and belted 20-plus homers in six of the next seven years -- the exception being '14, when he remained unsigned until June after rejecting a qualifying offer and ended up posting a .218 average with eight home runs and 42 RBIs over 98 games between the Twins and Mariners.

Morales then signed with the Royals in December 2014, and after bouncing back with a .290 average, 22 homers and 106 RBIs the following season, he earned his only World Series title as Kansas City defeated the Mets in the '15 Fall Classic.

Morales later went on to play for the Blue Jays, A's and Yankees. He finishes his career with a .265/.327/.453 batting line, 213 home runs, 257 doubles and 740 RBIs over 13 seasons.