Lorenzo Cain has informed Andy McCullough of The Athletic that he will officially retire, and will return to Kauffman Stadium this season for a retirement ceremony. The Royals are figuring out the logistics of having him retire as a Royal.
“He’s going to be a Royal Hall of Famer,” Kansas City general manager JJ Picollo said. “Just the times that he rose to the occasion speaks volumes about what type of competitor he was. I don’t think he had the prettiest swing. I don’t think he was the most talented guy. But when it was a big moment, he loved those moments. And that was pretty special.”
Lorenzo Cain was acquired by the Royals after the 2010 season from the Brewers in a six-player trade with Alcides Escobar for Zack Greinke. After a late start due to injuries, he became a regular in centerfield for them in 2013, and was an integral part of their 2014 and 2015 pennant-winning clubs. In the former year, he won ALCS MVP honors by hitting .533 in a four-game sweep of the Orioles. In the latter year, he was an All-Star and finished third in MVP voting by hitting .307/.361/.477 with 16 home runs and 28 steals, while playing exemplary defense. He finished fifth in the league with 7.0 WAR, according to Baseball Reference. He also had a memorable post-season moment in Game 6, scoring from first base on a single by Eric Hosmer, which ended up being the game-deciding run in ALCS-clinching win over Toronto.
Cain departed the Royals to sign a multi-year deal with the Brewers in 2018. In seven season swith the Royals he hit .289/.342/.421 with 56 home runs and 120 steals, and was good for 24.7 WAR, according to Baseball Reference. He spent five more seasons with the Brewers until they released him last summer. Overall, Cain played 13 seasons and appeared in 1,171 games and hit .283/.343/.407 with 38.4 WAR. All for a kid that didn’t play baseball until high school.
The Royals will announce more specifics about Cain’s retirement ceremony at a later date. He will certainly be a future Royals Hall of Famer and one of biggest fan favorites in club history.