Seven-time MLB All-Star Alfonso Soriano started his exceptional career with the New York Yankees, and four months after his release from the club in July he has decided to hang up his cleats for good.

Soriano, 38, announced his retirement on Tuesday, per The Associated Press (via The Washington Post).

“I’ve lost the love and passion to play the game,” said Soriano in a radio interview in the Dominican Republic. “Right now, my family is the most important thing.”

The Yankees designated Soriano for assignment on July 6 but released him approximately a week later.

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman offered his congrats to Soriano and also tipped his cap as he shed some light on one of the slugger’s lesser-known talents: 

Walking away from the game seemed inevitable for the aging Soriano after he’d batted just .221 in 67 games for the Bronx Bombers in 2014. Marly Rivera of ESPN Deportes documented a key portion of what Soriano had to say regarding the team’s decision to demote in the first place:

ESPN Stats & Info provided further context regarding Soriano’s struggles this past season, and’s Mark Simon crunched the numbers at the tail end of Soriano’s last stint in the Bronx:

Longtime Yankees captain Derek Jeter, on a retirement farewell tour amid his final MLB season, weighed in when Soriano was siphoned away from the big leagues, per the New York Post‘s George A. King III:

Soriano is like family to me. I have played with him a long time, when he first came up and when he came back. Sori has had a tremendous career here in New York and it was difficult for him this year. Not playing every day, it’s hard to be productive. I feel for him and I am going to miss him but I will be in touch with him. He is like a brother to me. He should be proud of what he was able to do.

In his earlier days, Soriano was a speedster on the basepaths who also wielded a big stick at the plate but evolved into more of an exclusive power hitter than anything else. The amount of strikeouts he recorded also hindered his impact as a baserunner.

However, he swatted 46 home runs and stole 41 bases in his lone season with the Washington Nationals in 2006. Soriano thus joined Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez as the only other members of the 40-40 club.

Enviable versatility and steady production allowed Soriano to carve out a Hall of Fame-caliber resume, as he served as a second baseman, outfielder and designated hitter.

Fielding was never one of Soriano’s strengths. He accumulated a number of errors, though he had the physical tools and talent to record improbable outs.

That he was never a prominent contributor on a World Series champion shouldn’t hurt him because Soriano spent much of his prime with the Chicago Cubs, who signed him to an eight-year, $136 million contract in 2006. The lucrative deal expired after last season, making Soriano’s retirement all the more logical.

The Yankees have missed the playoffs the past two seasons, but Soriano will be remembered as a key contributor during a far more promising era for the storied franchise.

Soriano leaves behind a strong legacy on the diamond, and his flashy style of play won’t be forgotten. Whether he deserves to be inducted into Cooperstown is certainly up for debate, but Soriano is at least in the conversation after 16 seasons in the majors during which he had 412 career home runs.

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