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Mets’ Michael Cuddyer explains decision to retire

Michael Cuddyer said he just knew it was

Michael Cuddyer said he just knew it was time to retire. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Mets outfielder Michael Cuddyer officially announced his retirement on Saturday, citing the litany of injuries that have shaped the last few years of his career.

“It goes against every grain in my body to consider a future without the game,” Cuddyer wrote in his official announcement, published on The Players’ Tribune website. “But after 15 years, the toll on my body has finally caught up to me.”

Cuddyer, 36, missed part of the season dealing with a knee injury. Following the World Series, Cuddyer underwent surgery for a core muscle injury.

“Over the last four years, I was on the disabled list six times,” Cuddyer wrote. “I missed 150-200 games over that time span — a broken shoulder, a strained oblique, a torn-up knee, a bulging disc in my neck. I pushed through it. Mentally, I was able to overcome it for a long time, but the physical and emotional taxation took its toll. Part of being a professional is to know yourself and to know your limits.”

Cuddyer did not specify what will come next except to say he looks forward to spending time with his family.

“As hard as it is to retire, I know my family deserves to have me home full-time now,” Cuddyer wrote. “It is time for my kids to develop their own dreams with their dad by their side.”

In a statement, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson lauded Cuddyer’s professionalism.

“As everybody knows, Michael throughout his 15 Major League seasons has been a complete pro,” Alderson said. “He embodies and defines what the word ‘professional’ means — on and off the field.”

By season’s end, Cuddyer’s role had been limited, his spot in leftfield taken by the rookie Michael Conforto. Yet, Alderson acknowledged Cuddyer’s veteran leadership.

“While battling injuries this past season, he was one of our team’s true leaders in the clubhouse, playing a significant role in our National League Championship,” Alderson said. “He leaves an indelible, positive impact on our organization.”

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