Having last played in the Majors during the 2018 season with the New York Mets, Adrian Gonzalez officially announced his retirement from baseball. With that, Gonzalez walks away from the sport after playing professionally for 19 years.
He was selected by the then-Florida Marlins with the first overall pick in the 2000 MLB Draft, but never advanced past the Minor Leagues with the franchise. Gonzalez made his MLB debut with the Texas Rangers in 2004.
Along with Terrmel Sledge and Chris Young, the Rangers traded Gonzalez to the San Diego Padres in January 2006 for Billy Killian, Adam Eaton and Akinori Otsuka. The trade represented a homecoming for the Chula Vista, Calif., native, and sparked Gonzalez’s career.
From 2006-2010, Gonzalez was a three-time All-Star, won two Gold Glove Awards and received National League MVP votes in four separate seasons — including a fourth place finish in 2010.
Despite his rise to stardom, the Padres traded Gonzalez to the Boston Red Sox after the 2010 season. The ensuing April he signed a seven-year, $154 million contract with Boston. However, he remained with the team for less than two seasons.
On Aug. 25, 2012, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Red Sox completed a blockbuster trade that sent Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto to the West Coast in exchange for Ivan De Jesus Jr., Rubby De La Rosa, James Loney, Jerry Sands and Allen Webster.
The financially-motivated trade allowed the Red Sox to get under the luxury tax threshold and avoid the 40% repeater penalty, while adding more than $250 million in player salaries demonstrated a key changing of the guard for the Guggenheim Baseball Management Group in their early days of Dodgers ownership.
Gonzalez went on to hit .280/.339/.454 with 164 doubles, 101 home runs and 448 RBI in 735 games over parts of six seasons with the Dodgers. It was the longest tenure he spent with any team during his career.
In December of 2017, the Dodgers packaged Gonzalez with Charlie Culberson, Scott Kazmir, Brandon McCarthy for a trade with the Atlanta Braves to acquire Matt Kemp. Atlanta immediately released the veteran first baseman and he went on to sign with the New York Mets in January 2018.
However, Gonzalez appeared in just 54 games before getting released that June.
Memorable Adrian Gonzalez highlights with Dodgers
Upon completion of the trade, Gonzalez, Beckett and Punto immediately made the trip to L.A. on a private jet chartered by the Dodgers. The trio arrived at Dodger Stadium not long before first pitch against the Miami Marlins, and Gonzalez was in the lineup for his Dodgers debut.
He introduced himself to a new fanbase in dramatic fashion by hitting a three-run home run in his first at-bat with the Dodgers.
What’s more, Gonzalez went on to hit his 100th career home run in a Dodgers uniform, which at the time tied him with Steve Yeager for 25th in franchise history. Gonzalez also reached 2,000 career hits during the 2017 season.
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