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Mets outfielder Michael Cuddyer planning to retire at 36; has 1 year left on deal

New York Mets outfielder Michael Cuddyer is ready to retire after playing 15 seasons in the major leagues.

Cuddyer turns 37 in March. He leaves with one season left on a two-year, $21 million contract that he signed with the Mets as a free agent.

Cuddyer hit .259 with 10 home runs and 41 RBIs during an injury-interrupted year with the Mets. He made his first World Series appearance this fall, striking out in all three of his at-bats.

"It goes against every grain in my body to consider a future without the game. But after 15 years, the toll on my body has finally caught up to me," Cuddyer said on The Players' Tribune site.

"I've always believed in loyalty to the game itself: the day that I can't give it 100 per cent is the day I have to walk away. Now that the day has come, it's harder than I thought it would be."

The two-time All-Star won the 2013 NL batting championship by hitting .331 for Colorado. Cuddyer is a lifetime .277 hitter with Minnesota, the Rockies and Mets, with 197 home runs and 794 RBIs.

He is a longtime pal of Mets captain David Wright, and their friendship was a major reason why Cuddyer came to New York.

"While battling injuries this past season, he was one of our team's true leaders in the clubhouse, playing a significant role in our National League championship," Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said in a statement.

"He leaves an indelible, positive impact on our organization."

Ben Walker, The Associated Press

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