Kansas City Royals' Josh Willingham Plans To Retire After This Season

Current Kansas City Royals 35-years-old outfielder Josh Willingham has announced that he is 100 percent sure on retiring after the season ends. He played for five teams and hit a career .254 with 192 home runs and 624 RBI. He has won the Catfish Hunter Award (2011), Silver Slugger Award (2012), and he has won the Player of the Week two times in his career. Willingham hit two grand slams in one game on July 27, 2009.

Willingham was drafted by the Florida Marlins (Miami Marlins) in the 17th round of the 2000 Major League Baseball Draft. He made his debut on July 6, 2004, against the Pittsburgh Pirates. On April 4, 2006, he hit his first career multi-homer game against the Houston Astros. He finished that season with a line of .277/.356/.496 with 26 home runs and 74 RBI.

In 2008, still with the Marlins, he received limited playing time due to a 50 game disabled list stint. His production suffered and so did his batting average. He was hitting .258 with only 15 home runs. However, in that season, he homered in four straight games for the first time in his career.

In November, 2008, Willingham was traded to the Washington Nationals, along with pitcher Scott Olsen. The Marlins traded for Emilio Bonifacio, Jake Smolinski and P.J. Dean. 

Willingham began as the Nationals fifth outfielder. He was behind Adam Dunn, Elijah Dukes, Austin Kerns, and Lastings Milledge. However, after Dunn was moved to first and Kerns went down with an injury, Willingham received his opportunities. Milledge was also traded for outfielder Nyjer Morgan. 

On July 27, 2009, Willingham became the 13th player to ever hit two grand slams in the same game and seventh to ever do that in back to back innings. 

The next year, Willinghm was traded to the Oakland Athletics for pitcher Henry Rodriguez and Corey Brown. He struggled that 2010 season, hitting .246. However, he blasted 29 home runs and hit 98 RBI.

He was a costless agent the next off-season. Willingham then signed with the Minnesota Twins for three years, worth $21 million. 

The season of 2012, he was named American League Player of the Week. He tied the franchise record by recording a hit in the first 15 games of the season. Willingham also tied Bob Allison with the most homers by a Minnesota Twin. He had 35 that season.

On August 11, 2014, Willingham was traded to the Kansas City Royals for Jason Adam, a right handed pitcher.

This season with both the Twins and the Royals, he has played in only 91 games after struggling with injuries. He is hitting .218/.249/.401 with only 14 home runs and 40 RBI. 

For his career, Willingham enters the final weekend of the regular season with a .253 batting average, .359 on-base percentage, and .465 slugging percentage. He has hit 195 career home runs and is 12 hits shy of 1,000. He will play four more games and then his career will come to an end, unless the Royals make the playoffs. Then his career will continue into the postseason and will conclude after it ends.

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