The Melk Man will deliver no more.
Melky Cabrera announced his retirement on Instagram on Friday, hanging up his spikes after 15 major league seasons. The 37-year-old debuted in 2005 and has not appeared in an MLB game since 2019.
Signed as an amateur free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2001, Cabrera’s big league journey began in pinstripes when he was just 20 years old. He appeared in six games for the Yankees in 2005 and was a regular contributor in the Bronx over the next four seasons. Cabrera slashed .269/.331/.385 with 90 doubles, 13 triples, 36 home runs, 228 RBI and 44 stolen bases over 569 games for New York.
Cabrera hit .391 during the 2009 American League Championship Series before he and the Yankees won the World Series that year. It would be his last season with the team.
The Yankees traded Cabrera, Mike Dunn and Arodys Vizcaíno to Atlanta that December, acquiring Boone Logan and Javier Vázquez in return. Cabrera, a switch-hitter, bounced around the league after that, playing for the Braves, Royals, Giants, Blue Jays, White Sox, Cleveland and Pirates.
Cabrera’s most productive season came in 2012 while with San Francisco. He made his only All-Star appearance and won the game’s Most Valuable Player award, and he finished his campaign hitting .346 with a 4.5 fWAR. However, his season ended after just 113 games, as a 50-game performance-enhancing drug suspension – and a fraudulent website meant to shield Cabrera of culpability – marred the best year of his career. Cabrera led the majors in hits at the time and missed the Giants’ second championship in three years. He requested that he not be eligible for the National League batting title.
Cabrera played another seven seasons in the majors following his suspension. He spent time with the Mets in 2020, briefly reuniting with former Yankees teammate Robinson Canó. Cabrera never made an appearance for the Mets, though.
He finishes his career a .285 hitter.
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