Home » Josh Donaldson, 2015 AL MVP, announces retirement from MLB after 13 seasons

Josh Donaldson, 2015 AL MVP, announces retirement from MLB after 13 seasons

by Marko Florentino
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Josh Donaldson, the 2015 American League MVP, announced he will be retiring from MLB on Monday.

Donaldson, 38, explained why he’s hanging up his cleats after 13 years in the league. 

“There was a time at the end of the season that I felt really good about where I was and I was going to try to give it one more go,” he said on The Mayor’s Office with former MLB first baseman Sean Casey. “But being home with the family, getting married, today is a sad but also a happy day for me. I am going to announce my retirement from the game I’ve dedicated my entire life around, and my family has. 

“It’s sad because I’ll be not able to go out there and play the game I love anymore, but it’s also a very happy time I get to be around the family and take that next chapter in life.”

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Josh Donaldson smiles

Josh Donaldson #24 of the Minnesota Twins looks on and smiles during a spring training game between the Atlanta Braves and Minnesota Twins on March 11, 2020 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Florida. (Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)

Donaldson’s decline over the past two seasons was apparent, hitting .222/.308/.374 with the New York Yankees in 2022 — his first season with the team after being traded from the Minnesota Twins. Then, he hit .152/.249/.418 in 50 games between the Yankees and Milwaukee Brewers. 

But Donaldson’s impact on the game came first with the Oakland Athletics in 2013 when he hit .301/.384/.499 with 24 homers, 37 doubles and 93 RBI in a breakout season that showed the 27-year-old as one of the best third basemen in MLB. 

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Josh Donaldson swings bat

Josh Donaldson #28 of the New York Yankees singles during a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium on July 5, 2023, in New York, New York.  (New York Yankees/Getty Images)

He would earn his first All-Star appearance in the American League in 2014, but his best season was easily his first with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2015, winning American League MVP after driving in 123 runs with a .297/.371/.568, 41 homers and 122 runs. 

Donaldson finished top 10 in MVP voting four times in his career, which also included time with the Cleveland Guardians and Atlanta Braves. 

While the “Bringer of Rain” was mostly known for his big leg kick that led to 279 homers and 816 RBI over his 13-year career, he was one of the smoothest third basemen in the league throughout his career. 

Josh Donaldson celebrates home run

Josh Donaldson (20) of the Toronto Blue Jays looks skyward as he arrives at the plate after homering in the first inning during the game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Boston Red Sox at the Rogers Centre May 8, 2015. (David Cooper/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

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Other than his MVP, Donaldson earned two Silver Sluggers. 

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