HomeMLB RumorsKole Calhoun Announces Retirement - MLB Trade Rumors

Kole Calhoun Announces Retirement – MLB Trade Rumors

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Veteran outfielder Kole Calhoun announced his retirement this evening on Instagram. The 36-year-old hangs up his cleats after a 10-plus year run in the majors with four different teams.

The day has come that I announce my retirement from Major League Baseball,” Calhoun wrote. “I know how extremely lucky I am to even be able to say that. Baseball was always my dream and to make that my reality fills me with gratitude. I have loved this game since I can remember, so making this announcement weighs heavy on my heart. This day comes for all players eventually and I can honestly say that I have given this game everything I have and I walk away with no regrets.” Calhoun goes on to thank his family, coaches, teammates, agents at PSI Sports Management, and the teams and fans for which he played as party of a lengthy statement.

That Calhoun reached the majors at all was far from a lock. The Angels selected him in the eighth round of the 2010 draft. A senior sign out of Arizona State, he entered pro ball without much fanfare as the recipient of a meager $36K signing bonus. The vast majority of players in that demographic never get to the highest level. Calhoun not only reached the big leagues within two years, he earned an everyday spot in the Halos outfield.

Calhoun was a part-time contributor over his first couple seasons. He secured the Opening Day right field job by 2014, a spot he’d hold for six straight years. Calhoun turned in a .272/.325/.450 slash line in his first full big league campaign. He had arguably the best year of his career in ’15, connecting on 26 homers while winning a Gold Glove. His relentless playing style made him an above-average defender for his first handful of seasons. He was also a durable lineup presence, surpassing 530 plate appearances in every year from 2014-19.

A lefty hitter with power, he hit a personal-high 33 homers in 2019. That total was surely aided by that season’s very lively ball, but he reached at least 17 homers in every season of that six-year stretch. Calhoun compiled a .249/.322/.424 batting line over parts of eight seasons as an Angel overall. In his first trip to free agency, he signed a two-year, $16MM deal with the Diamondbacks.

Calhoun went on a power barrage in his first season in Arizona. He popped 16 homers during the shortened schedule, tying for seventh in the majors. That was Calhoun’s last above-average MLB work. His numbers dipped over his final three years, which he split between the Diamondbacks, Rangers and Guardians. He concluded with a 43-game stint in Cleveland late last summer. As he noted in his retirement announcement, that brief run pushed him beyond the rare 10-year service threshold.

In just under 5000 career plate appearances, Calhoun put together a .242/.315/.417 slash. He knocked 179 homers, surpassed 1000 hits and drove in 582 runs. In addition to his Gold Glove, he helped the Angels to a postseason appearance in 2014. Baseball Reference calculates his career earnings just under $50MM. B-Ref and FanGraphs each credited him with around 14-15 wins above replacement, including a trio of solidly above-average seasons between 2014-16. MLBTR congratulates Calhoun on his strong career and wishes him the best in whatever comes next.

Image courtesy of USA Today Sports.

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