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Yankees’ Troy Tulowitzki announces retirement

Tulo was one of the best shortstops in baseball for a nearly-decade-long stretch and would likely have been a Hall of Fame candidate if not for injuries.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees Photo by Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Yankees shortstop Troy Tulowitzki announced his retirement on Thursday, bringing an end to a 13-year career that likely would have been a Hall of Fame-caliber one if not for injuries:

Tulowitzki, 34, wound up playing just five regular-season games for the Yankees, a team that he rooted for growing up (along with his hometown Oakland Athletics) because he admired Derek Jeter so much. After being signed to help fill in for Didi Gregorius, who was recovering from Tommy John surgery, Tulowitzki served as the Bronx Bombers’ Opening Day shortstop and posted a .182/.308/.545 slash line, while also hitting the final homer of his career, over 13 plate appearances in pinstripes. But he was placed on the injured list with a left calf strain on April 4, continuing an unfortunate rash of lower-body injuries that have previously affected his left hip, left groin, right ankle, right hamstring, right quad, and both heels. He tried to rehab the injury at High-A Tampa in late April but suffered a setback. With Gio Urshela turning into an indispensable contributor, Gregorius returning to the lineup, and Thairo Estrada establishing himself as a solid backup infielder who can shuttle back and forth between Triple-A and the majors as necessary, the Yankees didn’t have much need for Tulowitzki anymore, so it seems as if the veteran shortstop’s recognition of the circumstances played into this decision.

Tulowitzki, who spent 10 of his 13 major-league seasons with the Rockies (and a two-plus-year stint with the Blue Jays) retires with five All-Star appearances, two Gold Gloves, two Silver Slugger awards, and a .290/.361/.495 career slash line. Going by Jay Jaffe’s JAWS metric, his 40.3 “seven-year peak” WAR leaves him just short of the 43.0 average for shortstops in the Hall of Fame, and ahead of 10 shortstops who are already enshrined in Cooperstown. His JAWS rating of 42.2 ranks him as the 27th-best shortstop in baseball history, but well short of the 55.0 average career rating for Hall of Famers at the position.