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David Ortiz to retire following 2016 season

The slugger will hang up his cleats after 20 major-league seasons.

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz will retire at the end of the 2016 season, according to a report from Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. There has been no official announcement from Ortiz on retirement.

Ortiz, who turns 40 tomorrow, will retire after 20 major-league seasons with the Twins (1997-2002) and Red Sox (2003-2016). He will be remembered as one of the best clutch hitters of all-time as a three-time World Series champion and the 2013 World Series MVP.

In 19 seasons, Ortiz has posted a .284/.378/.547 line with 503 home runs while being named to nine All-Star teams and finishing within the top five in MVP voting on five occasions. He is the recipient of six Silver Sluggers and hit .273/.360/.553 with 37 homers and 108 RBI last season.

Ortiz' Hall of Fame candidacy will be one of the most fascinating of his era, due to his status as a career-long designated hitter and questions about steroid use. It also remains to be seen if he will receive a farewell tour in every city like Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter did during their retirement seasons.

For the Red Sox moving forward, Ortiz's pending retirement gives them some positional flexibility for Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval, who were thought to be on the trading block this offseason. Both players are considered to be defensive liabilities who would seem to be candidates for the DH role moving forward.