Minnesota Twins: Bartlett plans to retire

Minnesota Twins

Jason Bartlett

Earlier this week, Jason Bartlett informed the Minnesota Twins that he plans to retire from Major League Baseball. The paperwork for an official announcement is expected to be completed next week.

But his presence in the lineup will barely be missed.

Bartlett made his Major League debut on August 3, 2004 for the Minnesota Twins. In 2006, he and three other Twins players (Jason Tyner, Luis Castillo, and Nick Punto) were dubbed “The Piranhas” by Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillén.

After the 2007 season, Bartlett was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays along with Matt Garza and Eduardo Morlan for Delmon Young, Jason Pridei, and Brendan Harris.

In his first season with the Rays, Bartlett batted .286 with one home run and was voted as the Rays’ MVP for the year by local Tampa Bay sportswriters.

Minnesota Twins

Jason Bartlett

In 2009, Bartlett represented the Rays in the 80th All-Star Game hosted by the St. Louis Cardinals. Accompanying him from the Rays were Evan Longoria, Carlos Peña, Ben Zobrist and Carl Crawford. At the end of the season, Bartlett had a .320 batting average, which was the highest in Rays history.

In December 2010, Bartlett was traded to the San Diego Padres for Adam Russell, Cesar Ramos, Brandon Gomes and Cole Figueroa.

As a regular shortstop for the Padres, Bartlett finished the 2011 season with a .245 batting average, hitting 2 home runs and stealing 23 bases. But, out of all major league ballplayers with more than 500 plate appearances, Bartlett had the lowest slugging percentage at .307.

In 2012, Bartlett only played in 29 games for the Padres and batted .133 with 4 RBI, before landing himself on the disabled list with a right knee strain halfway through May. Bartlett was then released by the Padres in August of that year and sat out the 2013 season from major league play.

Bartlett then signed a non roster contract with the Twins in November and made the lineup for the 2014 season. However, his most recent Major League season with the Twins was short-lived. After playing in just three games this season, Bartlett landed on the 15-day disabled list with a left ankle sprain and a possible return in late April.

Bartlett was sent on Class A Advanced rehab assignment Thursday but announced his retirement later that day.

Bartlett’s agent, Ryan Ware, contacted assistant general manager Rob Antony about the decision, a decision which the Twins don’t expect Bartlett to reconsider.

Upon Bartlett’s retirement announcement, Antony stated his thoughts that Bartlett could be a good coach some day.

But I just do not see that happening. At least, at the Major League level. In his professional career, Bartlett has not had any standout numbers. Sure, he was a great base stealer when the moment came, but he was no power hitter. And with injuries plaguing him for the past couple of years, he hasn’t been much of an asset to anyone. I can see Bartlett taking a coaching position in the Minor Leagues, but I don’t foresee him breaking into the Majors again.

And with just three games played this season, Bartlett’s retirement will not make much of an impact on the Twins season. After being gone for a majority of the games played this year, I don’t think his presence will be missed. He was fun to watch in his first few years with the Twins, but with injuries keeping him away, I’m sure retiring was Bartlett’s best decision.