After just one season with the Mets and 15 years spent at the major league level, Michael Cuddyer announced his retirement from baseball. With one year remaining on his contract with the Mets, his announcement came as a surprise, but Cuddyer explained his decision in a thoughtful essay for The Player's Tribune.
Unsurprisingly, Cuddyer cited the wear and tear of playing baseball for so long as a primary factor in announcing his retirement. In the past few years, he has frequently been injured, and this past season he dealt with a bad knee that kept him out for considerable time. Before joining the Mets, he averaged just 93 games per season during his three years with the Rockies. Regarding this, Cuddyer said,
Ever since I was a kid, my mantra has been, 'Play hard, dream big.' But I've always believed in loyalty to the game itself: the day that I can't give it 100 percent is the day I have to walk away.
On a more personal note, Cuddyer looked outside of baseball for reasons to retire. He expressed a desire to spend more time with his family. The grind of baseball undoubtedly keeps a player from his family, and with a wife and three kids, Cuddyer stated,
As hard as it is to retire, I know my family deserves to have me home full-time now. It is time for my kids to develop their own dreams with their dad by their side.
Cuddyer thanked many for their support over the years, including his agent, financial adviser, the teams that he played for along with their managers, coaches and employees, his teammates, and fans. But most of all, he thanked the game of baseball for allowing him to do what he loved.