Chris Davis announces retirement from MLB, will still receive full salary

Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis is calling it a career. Davis, 35, released a statement Thursday stating he was walking away from the game after 13 seasons.

In his statement, Davis noted a hip injury played into his decision to retire. He thanked the Orioles fans for "the many memories that I will cherish forever."

That hip injury was reportedly more serious than Davis thought, according to Dan Connolly of The Athletic.

Davis retired with one year left on his much-maligned seven-year, $161 million contract. Davis will not forfeit his remaining salary, however. He renegotiated a deal with the Orioles that will defer that money over several years.

By retiring, Davis gives the team an extra roster spot next season. With the restructure, the Orioles will cut a fair chunk of money from their payroll in 2022.

Chris Davis was MVP candidate before decline

It's easy to focus on Davis' struggles during the final few years of his career. After signing his massive contract, Davis cratered at the plate. Over the course of the deal, Davis hit .196/.291/.379, with 92 home runs. He posted an 80 OPS+ over that period, which means his OPS was 20 percent lower than the league average. For someone like Davis — who was signed solely for his bat — it was a miserable outcome.

Prior to that deal, Davis was a tremendous story. He took the league by fire as a rookie, clubbing 17 home runs in just 317 plate appearances with the Texas Rangers. The league caught on to Davis after that, and he hit just .227 over his next two seasons.

Davis started to show signs of turning things around in a limited sample in 2011. He was shipped to Baltimore midseason, and proceeded to have the most successful stretch of his career. Over his first full season in Baltimore, Davis hit .270/.326/.501 and popped 33 home runs.

In 2013, Davis put together a season for the ages. He hit .286/.370/.634, with a league-leading 53 home runs and 138 RBI. That performance earned Davis a top-3 finish in the AL MVP voting. He struggled in 2014, hitting under .200, but bounced back with a .262/.361/.562 line in 2015. He hit 47 home runs that season and once again received MVP votes.

Davis hit the market that offseason, but decided to remain with the Orioles on a seven-year, $161 million deal. Things went downhill from there, with Davis' deal becoming a punchline — something he acknowledged late in his career.

With Davis' salary greatly reduced in 2022, the Orioles have more financial freedom to add pieces next season. Given the state of the franchise — the Orioles are 38-74 — the team probably isn't in a hurry to reinvest that money.

Chris Davis sets up at the plate with the Orioles.
Chris Davis retired from baseball Thursday. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

More from Yahoo Sports: