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Josh Willingham to retire at season's end

Goodbye you sweet slugging prince.

Mike Stone

Josh Willingham has told Twins beat writer Mike Bernadino that he plans to retire at the end of the season. Willingham, age 35, is still a productive player, hitting .218/.349/.401 with 14 HR 40 RBI in 361 plate appearances this year, but has suffered from back and groin injuries that have kept him out of the lineup recently. The Royals acquired Willingham from Minnesota for pitcher Jason Adam back on August 11. Since joining the Royals, he has hit .243/.361/.400 with 2 HR 6 RBI in 83 plate appearances.

Willingham is an eleven year veteran with the Marlins, Nationals, Athletics, Twins, and Royals who will likely end his career just shy of 1,000 career hits. He has slugged 195 home runs in his career, and is a lifetime .253/.359/.465 hitter. His best year was in 2012 with the Twins, when he hit .260/.366/.524 with 35 HR 110 RBI and won a Silver Slugger Award.

Willingham was in the final year of a 3 year-$21 million deal. He likely could have fetched a decent one-year deal from a team looking for a designated hitter, possibly even from the Royals. Willingham, if healthy, will make his first post-season appearance next week if the Royals are able to clinch a post-season this week.