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Veteran MLB outfielder Michael Brantley has opted to retire at the age of 36 and after parts of 15 seasons in the majors. "It's time for me to be home 24/7, watch my kids grow up, and not miss important milestones," Brantley told MLB.com's Jon Morosi

Brantley is coming off a 2023 season for the Houston Astros in which he played just 15 games owing to his recovery from shoulder surgery. Coming into the current offseason, CBS Sports ranked Brantley as the No. 33 available free agent, so there likely would've been a market for his services had he chosen to continue playing. 

Instead, Brantley concludes a strong career at baseball's highest level. Across those 15 seasons, Brantley slashed .298/.355/.439 (117 OPS+) with 129 home runs, 125 stolen bases, and more than 1,500 hits. Brantley over the years earned five All-Star selections, and in 2014 with Cleveland won a Silver Slugger and finished third in the American League MVP balloting. 

While his career WAR of 34.3 won't merit serious Hall of Fame consideration for Brantley, it does indicate the overall strength of his career value. That's especially the case considering how frequently Brantley battled injuries throughout his career. 

Originally a seventh-round choice by the Brewers in 2007, Brantley was traded in October of 2008 to Cleveland as a player to be named in the CC Sabathia blockbuster that was finalized in July of that year. He spent the next decade as a linchpin in the lineup of many contending teams in Cleveland, and in December of 2018 he left for Houston as a free agent. 

He would sign two more pacts with the Astros and spend what turned out to be the final five years of his career with the perennial World Series contenders. Speaking of which, Brantley earned a World Series ring with the 2022 Astros, although he didn't appear for them in the postseason because of a shoulder injury.