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Five-time All-Star outfielder Michael Brantley retires after 15 seasons with Cleveland and Houston

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Houston Astros
MLB: Chicago White Sox at Houston Astros

Five-time All-Star and World Series champion Michael Brantley announced his retirement Friday after 15 MLB seasons.

The outfielder already has his next job lined up, too: coaching Little League.

“I have young kids, and now it’s time to be a dad, first and foremost,” Brantley told MLB.com. “It’s time for me to be home 24/7, watch my kids grow up and not miss important milestones.”

Brantley leaves with a .298 career batting average during 10 years in Cleveland and five more in Houston. He hit 129 home runs with 720 RBIs and 125 stolen bases in 1,445 regular-season games. He hit .283 over 62 postseason games, including .327 in two World Series with the Astros.

The 36-year-old Brantley was a free agent this winter. He was limited to 15 regular-season games in 2023, returning to play for the final month after a lengthy recovery from a shoulder injury and subsequent surgery. Before his return in late August, he had not played in the majors since June 26, 2022.

In 2008, Brantley was sent from Milwaukee to Cleveland to complete the trade that sent left-hander CC Sabathia to the Brewers. He made his debut in Cleveland the following season and played there through the 2018 season. He then signed with Houston, where he was on hand to hoist the Commissioner’s Trophy in 2022.

Brantley hadn’t played since late June that year following a fourth surgery on his right shoulder, but his teammates put him at the center of the celebration.

“That was the most special part for me,” Brantley said. “My teammates putting me front and center, telling me to raise the trophy up — I still get goosebumps thinking about it. I’m always going to remember that.”