With the 2023 MLB season having come to an end, we have reached that time of year where various players are announcing their retirements. Two former Texas Rangers announced in the last couple of days that they are hanging it up.
One of those is also a current Ranger, pitcher Ian Kennedy. Kennedy was a closer for the 2021 Texas Rangers until he was dealt, along with Kyle Gibson and Hans Crouse, to the Philadelphia Phillies at the trade deadline. He returned to Texas on a minor league deal this past winter, made the team out of spring training, was released, was re-signed, pitched in the minors for a while, and then re-joined the major league team in September. He landed on the injured list with a rotator cuff injury, and thus was not part of the end of season or playoff roster for Texas.
Kennedy spent parts of 17 seasons in the majors. Originally a first round draft pick of the New York Yankees, he went to Arizona prior to the 2010 season in a three way deal involving, among others, Max Scherzer, Austin Jackson, Edwin Jackson and Curtis Granderson. He spent time with the San Diego Padres and Kansas City Royals before joining the Rangers in 2021, and pitched for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2022.
Also announcing his retirement was the ageless Nelson Cruz. The 43 year old — yes, 43! — spent parts of 8 seasons with the Texas Rangers, for whom he put up a .268/.327/.495 slash line and 12.1 bWAR in 796 games, including a pair of All Star appearances with the club. He was a big part of the Rangers’ two A.L. Championship teams in 2010 and 2011, and after leaving the Rangers, had some big seasons for the Baltimore Orioles and Seattle Mariners.
Cruz ends his career with 464 home runs, 2053 hits and 42.2 bWAR — remarkable numbers for a guy who didn’t really establish himself in the majors until his age 28 season. He is 37th all time in major league history in home runs and 47th all time in bWAR among right fielders.