Yankees Catcher Jorge Posada Set to Retire

It appears five time All-Star catcher Jorge Posada has heard New York Yankees fans chant his name "Jor-ge! Jor-ge!" while he's up to bat for the last time. this

Posada is planning to retire after 17 seasons with theYankees rather than pursue opportunities with other teams.

A person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Saturday that the five-time All-Star catcher will announce his retirement this month.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision has not yet been made public. Posada's plans were first reported by sports radio station WFAN.

Posada, a free agent, instructed his agents, Seth and Sam Levinson of ACES, not to make calls on his behalf this offseason, according to a source.

The 40-year-old Posada won five World Series titles with the team that drafted him in the 24th round of the 1990 draft. He became a free agent after a trying season in New York, the final year of a four-year, $52 million contract.

Earlier this offseason, Posada acknowledged that his career with the Yankees was over, but said he had offers from several other teams.

Posada's retirement leaves shortstop Derek Jeter and closer Mariano Rivera as the two remaining players from the core group that led the Yankees to four World Series championships from 1996-2000 and one more in '09. Andy Pettitte retired after the 2010 season.

Only Bill Dickey and Yogi Berra have caught more games in pinstripes than Posada (1,574).

But Posada lost his catching job before the start of last season and struggled early in his new role as the designated hitter. The switch-hitter was batting .165 against left-handers on May 14 when he was dropped to No. 9 in the batting order and asked out of the game against Boston.

He finished batting a career-low .235 with 14 homers and 44 RBIs in 115 games, playing sporadically in September after top prospect Jesus Montero was called up. Posada did have the winning hit — a pinch-hit, two-run single — against Tampa Bay on Sept. 21, clinching the AL East for New York.

Posada then hit .429 in the five-game division series loss against Detroit, receiving several long ovations and chants of "Jor-ge! Jor-ge!" at Yankee Stadium.

Shortstop Derek Jeter and closer Mariano Rivera, the other two members of the Core Four, remain active members of the Yankees.

The Yankees did not plan for Posada to return, leaving the catcher with the choice of playing for another team or retiring.

The team replaced Posada as their starting catcher at the start of last season and gradually reduced the switch-hitter to a left-handed designated hitter.

Posada batted only .235 in 387 plate appearances during the regular season. However, he was one of the Yankees' best hitters in their Division Series loss to the Detroit Tigers, going 6-for-14 with four walks.

He likely will receive strong Hall of Fame consideration after finishing with a career batting average of .273 and producing 275 home runs and 1,065 RBIs in 1,829 games.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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