Former New York Mets and Yankees star Carlos Beltran announced his retirement from Major League Baseball on Monday afternoon in an article featured in the Players' Tribune:
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Beltran most recently played with the Houston Astros, contributing to the franchise's — and his — first-ever World Series championship where he appeared mostly as a DH or corner outfielder.
The 40-year-old made his MLB debut with the Kansas City Royals in 1998 before winning Rookie of the Year honors in 1999 after batting .293 with 22 home runs, 108 RBI and 27 stolen bases in his first full professional season.
He developed into a five-tool player, hitting for power while providing great defense and speed. After six-plus years with the Royals and with his contract expiring, he was dealt to the Astros in 2004 where he put together one of the most impressive postseason performances ever, batting .435 with eight home runs and 14 RBI in just 12 games.
The monster postseason made him one the most coveted free agent on the market that offseason and it was the Mets who came out on top, signing him to a seven-year, $119 million contract.
After a rocky 2005 debut season in which he hit just 16 home runs with 78 RBI, Beltran put together one of the best offensive seasons by a Met in franchise history, powering 41 home runs and 116 RBI in 2006. However, that season and Beltran's career with the Mets is remembered by many for the moment he struck out in Game 7 of the NLCS with the bases loaded with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals, ending New York's season in agonizing fashion.
But Beltran remained productive despite battling injury issues, garnering five All-Star appearances and winning a pair of Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Awards during his tenure with the team.
His name is littered all over the Mets' record books, making him one of the greatest players in franchise history:
Carlos Beltran franchise records with Mets
Wins Above Replacement (WAR) by position players: 31.3 (3rd in Mets history)
Offensive WAR: 27.6 (6th)
Defensive WAR: 4.3 (7th)
On-base percentage: .369 (6th)
Slugging percentage: .500 (5th)
OPS: .869 (4th)
Runs scored: 551 (8th)
Total bases: 1,567 (10th)
Doubles: 208 (7th)
Home runs: 149 (6th)
RBI: 559 (6th)
Stolen-base percentage: 86.21% (1st)
After being traded during the 2011 season to the San Francisco Giants for Zack Wheeler, Beltran played with the St. Louis Cardinals before signing with the Yankees prior to the 2014 season.
He hit 56 home runs and drove in 180 during his two-plus seasons in the Bronx before being dealt during his contract year to the Texas Rangers, where he spent the rest of his 2016 season before joining Houston for one final year.
Beltran retires with a .279 batting average with 435 home runs on a career that should receive strong Hall-of-Fame consideration.