Detroit Tigers DH Victor Martinez says Saturday will be final game of career

Martinez wants final at-bat to be in front of home fans

Victor Martinez (Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

DETROIT - Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez announced Saturday will be the final game of his illustrious career.

Martinez made the announcement Friday before the Tigers' game against Kansas City.

Martinez's four-year contract with the Tigers will end after the season, and the 39-year-old said he wants to take his last at-bats in front of the home fans.

Career with Tigers

In seven years with the Tigers, Martinez hit .290 with a .349 on-base percentage and .440 slugging percentage. He had 1,031 hits in 967 games.

During the Tigers' most competitive years, Martinez was one of the best hitters in baseball. From 2011 to 2014, when the team won four consecutive division titles, Martinez hit .321 with an .868 OPS, 58 home runs, 109 doubles and more walks than strikeouts.

Martinez missed the 2012 season due to injury. In 2014, he was named to the American League All-Star Team and finished second in MVP voting behind Mike Trout.

Before Detroit

Before signing with Detroit in 2011, Martinez spent parts of eight years with the Cleveland Indians. He was traded to Boston in 2009 and spent about a year and a half with the Red Sox before becoming a free agent.

In 16 seasons from 2002 to 2018, Martinez racked up 2,151 hits, 423 doubles, 246 home runs, 1,178 RBI and an .815 OPS.

Recent struggles

Martinez has struggled since signing the final contract of his career, a four-year deal worth $68 million.

Since 2015, Martinez has posted a .717 OPS, .262 batting average and a far worse strikeout-to-walk ratio -- 253 strikeouts to 149 walks.

Years of catching caught up with Martinez, who dealt with knee injuries even after the one that knocked him out for 2012. He didn't catch a single game over the last four years after catching throughout his first 12 seasons.

This season, Martinez is hitting .249 with a .296 on-base percentage and .353 slugging percentage. His .649 OPS is the worst of his career.

Career achievements

Despite a rough limp to the finish line, Martinez retires as one of the best hitters in baseball since 2000. In an era of the three true outcomes -- home runs, walks and strikeouts -- Martinez was an elite two-strike hitter who batted better than .300 eight times.

Martinez received AL MVP votes in six seasons and appeared in five All-Star games. He also won Silver Slugger awards in 2004 and 2014.

Though he was technically in Cleveland for an extra half-season, Martinez will be remembered for his years in Detroit, where he played 146 more games than anywhere else and made the postseason three times.

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