Kendrys Morales is retiring after 13 seasons, ESPN reported on Friday. Morales, originally from Cuba, batted .265 with 213 homers and 740 RBIs in 1,363 major league games.
"Making the decision was difficult, right? But all things in life come to an end," the 36-year-old Morales told ESPN's Marly Rivera. "I spent many years, since Cuba, playing baseball and I gave up a lot of time I would have spent with my family. That is one of the reasons I have decided to retire, to see if I can recover some of that lost time.
"Also, Major League Baseball has changed and maybe veteran ballplayers such as myself are not valued, so this is the right time to make this decision. It is hard, but it is the right decision for both me and my family."
Defected from Cuba
Morales defected from Cuba in 2004 — he reportedly failed on his first 12 attempts — and soon signed with the Los Angeles Angels. The first baseman/designated hitter blossomed in 2009 with a career-best season in which he batted .306 with 34 homers and 108 RBIs.
The following May 29, he suffered some misfortune that overshadowed the rest of his career. After hitting a walk-off grand slam to beat the Seattle Mariners, Morales jumped in the air as he approached home plate as his teammates waited to celebrate. He landed awkwardly and broke his right leg.
Played for many franchises
Morales missed the rest of the 2010 season and all of the 2011 campaign. After the 2012 season, the Angels traded Morales to the Mariners. He also played with the Minnesota Twins, Kansas City Royals, Toronto Blue Jays, Oakland Athletics and New York Yankees.
Morales was a key cog on the Royals' championship team in 2015, when he batted .290 with 22 homers and 106 RBIs. He added on four homers and 10 RBIs during the American League playoffs. He split last season with the Athletics and Yankees and batted .194 with two homers and 12 RBIs in 53 games.