There is absolutely no question that the MLB is slowly becoming a young man’s sport. With that being said, there is a good chance that we are going to see a number of top-notch veterans retire in the near future. The MLB is a very long season as well, so older players simply can lose the durability to be able to last the entire season. This is especially seen with veteran pitchers because the slightest of dips in their velocities can lead them from being aces to entirely useless. This is what leads to pitchers retiring suddenly. However, the same does apply to veteran hitters as well. However, when it comes to stars especially, significant injuries tend to be the number one causes of retirement.
With all that has been stated thus far, we will be looking at 20 MLB players who will be out of the league by 2020. We are going to see some pretty significant players out of the league in the near future and this always is a massive loss. However, it simply is a part of the game and we will end up getting new stars to admire. At the end of the day, there is no question that there will be some future Hall of Famers out of the league by the year 2020 and that will create an entirely new environment and atmosphere to the MLB. Every player on this list deserves a plethora of respect for their contributions as well.
Nonetheless, let’s look at the 20 MLB players who will be out of the league by 2020!
20 Brian McCann
There is no question that Brian McCann’s best days in the MLB are long behind him. However, even with this being the case, he is still a very important leader for the Astros and their postseason pushes. With injuries plaguing him as well, his career appears to be reaching its conclusion.
McCann is signed until next season and once that occurs, it is very likely that he will be retiring. It is very unlikely that he will end up winning another starting catcher job and it's clear that he is very fragile in terms of durability at this point. With that being said, it is extremely likely he will be retiring by 2020.
19 Ian Kennedy
Ian Kennedy has really fallen off over the years and playing for the Kansas City Royals has not helped his fortunes out at all. There is no question that he simply has lost all of his dependability as a starter. If he had not been under such a hefty contract, he likely would be out of a job already.
Kennedy definitely had some moments in his career where he was a top-notch starter, but age has not done him well. Once his contract expires in Kansas City, it would not be surprising whatsoever if he no longer is able to get a job at the MLB level. Retirement will likely occur after that.
18 Bartolo Colon
There is absolutely no question that Bartolo Colon is absolutely beloved around the league by both its fans and players. However, there is no denying the fact that the veteran is heavily on the decline. His numbers have continued to get worse the past two seasons as well.
At the end of the day, it would be surprising to see this veteran still in the league by 2020. There definitely is a very solid chance that he will be retiring during the off-season. There may be a team willing to give him one more season, but that definitely appears to be a long shot with him being 45-years-old.
17 Joe Mauer
Joe Mauer has been the face of the Minnesota Twins for a number of years, but it is very likely that they will be moving forward from the veteran. There has been a lot of criticism over his monster contract and that essentially has ruined any chance of him being resigned this off-season.
With Mauer getting older and him being so prone to injuries as well, it is very likely that he will no longer be in the league by 2020. In fact, it is likely that he may end up retiring this off-season as well, as he has openly stated that he is considering it. This means his MLB career is on its last breath.
16 James Shields
Once one of the top notch pitchers in the league, James Shields has definitely dropped off dramatically over the last few seasons and it appears that his time in the league is coming to a close. It is very unlikely that he will be getting a contract this off-season as well.
There is a chance that Shields could end up making an MLB roster for the upcoming season, but it is clear that he is on a very short leash. He definitely has dropped off very significantly over the last few seasons and with him being older as well, retirement appears to be a very likely occurrence.
15 Rich Hill
Rich Hill’s story to the MLB is a very fantastic one and it shows that it is never too late to leave an impact. However, it is very important to note that Hill is getting much older these days and it is likely that his time in the league is nearing its completion. It is likely he will be gone by 2020.
There is no question that Hill has been pretty reliable this season for the Dodgers, but he is showing some signs of dropping off as well. This definitely will hurt his chances to secure himself a long-term future in the league, especially when noting that he is almost 40-years-old.
14 Felix Hernandez
Felix Hernandez was once one of the best pitchers in the entire MLB and the face of the Seattle Mariners. However, as the team has gotten better, his pitching has dropped off due to injuries. This season was a complete disaster for the veteran and showed that his time may be up.
Hernandez still has a year left on his deal with the team and it is very likely that it will end up being his last altogether. However, this could change if he is able to fix his poor numbers next season. Take note that this is a long shot and it is quite apparent his time is running out.
13 Miguel Cabrera
Miguel Cabrera is a future Hall of Famer and is easily one of the best players to ever play for the Detroit Tigers. Although it is important to note that Cabrera has a handful of more years with the team, it is very likely that he will opt to retire beforehand because of the injuries he has been experiencing.
If Cabrera is not able to get back to full health soon, there is a very good chance that he may find himself out of the league by 2020. There is no question that the team would love to see him become fully healthy because he is the heart of the roster still, but a lot needs to change for that to occur.
12 Homer Bailey
Homer Bailey has definitely dropped off dramatically and can easily be deemed as the worst starting pitcher of the 2018 season. This truly is disappointing because not too long ago, he was the ace of the roster. However, now he is an overpaid veteran who clearly deserves to be out of a job.
There is no question that Bailey left a significant impact on the team back when he was in his prime and he does deserve a lot of respect for that. However, criticism is definitely warranted for how much he struggled the last few seasons and retirement definitely is coming for him.
11 Adrian Beltre
Adrian Beltre is another player on this list who absolutely will be a member of the Hall of Fame. He is easily one of the best all-around players of this generation of players, yet also was extremely underrated during his prime years as well. Even with his older age, he still is very productive.
At the end of the day, there is a solid chance that Beltre will be retiring during the MLB off-season and this is truly a big loss for the MLB. However, there is no question that he is at the age where it occurs. There would be teams interested in him if he decides to hit the open market, but retirement seems more likely.
10 Fernando Rodney
Fernando Rodney has been a very solid relief pitcher for a number of years, but there is no question that his retirement will be coming by 2020. There is definitely a distinct possibility that the veteran will be calling it quits during this off-season, especially with him being 40.
At the end of the day, whatever he decides to do, Rodney deserves an abundance of respect for the impact that he has left. Although he may not be the most dominant closer ever, he clearly has had a very significant amount of success and helped a lot of teams with his presence.
9 Albert Pujols
Albert Pujols is one of the best players to ever play in the MLB and was the model of consistency during his prime years. However, ever since signing with the Angels, he definitely slowly started to fall off and now there is no question that his contract has become a burden.
At the end of the day, it is extremely likely that the Angels may opt to buy out his contract, especially if he continues to get injured. This is a player who is essentially taking all of the budgets away from the Angels to build a real competitive team around their franchise player, Mike Trout.
8 Jason Hammel
Jason Hammel had a lot of success with the Chicago Cubs and that is what essentially gave him recognition around the league. However, even since he has signed with the Kansas City Royals, he has been one of the worst pitchers in the entire league and has a horrible contract as well.
At the end of the day, there is absolutely no question that Hammel will be out of the league by the time his contract expires. This is a pitcher who has completely fallen off and essentially has no value at this present time. At the end of the day, retirement would be wise for the struggling veteran.
7 Jacoby Ellsbury
Jacoby Ellsbury may have been a star with the Boston Red Sox, but this obviously ended up not being the case with the Yankees. This is a massive problem because Ellsbury signed a seven-year deal with them, as they saw him as a potential franchise player for the team.
Ellsbury simply fell off in skill dramatically over the years and was never able to replicate the success he had in Boston. Injuries took away this season from him entirely and his career is entirely in jeopardy because of this. At the end of the day, Ellsbury will be out of the league by 2020, without any doubt.
6 Nelson Cruz
Nelson Cruz has been able to dominate the league with his power even as he ages. However, although this is the case, there is a very good chance that the DH will be retiring in the near future. He is getting up there in age and fatigue definitely has been creeping up on him.
There is a solid chance that Cruz will be able to land himself a one year deal with a new team this off-season, but it is hard to believe that he will be able to stay much longer after that. The MLB is a league that is ever changing and older veterans always end up being replaced quickly.
5 Adam Wainwright
Adam Wainwright has recently signed an extension with the St. Louis Cardinals and there is a fairly solid chance that this will be his final season. He likely will be used in the bullpen because of his injury problems and the fact that he is obviously aging pretty quickly.
There is no question that Wainwright is a very solid pitcher when he is healthy, but when seeing how his durability has essentially fallen off, there is a good chance he will be out of the league by 2020. This definitely will be a major change to the setup of the Cardinals’ roster, but it is honestly inevitable.
4 Chris Davis
Chris Davis had the worst season in the modern era of the entire MLB this year and there is no question that he is on the hot seat with the Orioles. The major problem with this is he still has a handful more seasons left on his massive contract, so they only can use a buyout now.
If Davis is not able to improve this next season, there is a very solid chance that the Orioles will opt to release him. This off-season could even see this occur because there is no question that it would be warranted. A .168 batting average simply is unacceptable at any level and the Orioles should give his spot to someone else.
3 C.C. Sabathia
C.C. Sabathia has still been able to be a very solid starter as he continues to age and the Yankees definitely have benefitted from that. However, even with this being the case, there is no question that he is going to be out of the league by 2020 when seeing how old he is now.
Sabathia will likely only want to play for the Yankees at this point, which definitely will hurt his chances of continuing his career much longer. The Yankees are likely going to move on from as soon as this offseason, as they are looking to use their money to bring in stars that will help them dethrone the Red Sox.
2 Alex Gordon
Alex Gordon deserves all of the praise in the world for his contributions to help lead the Kansas City Royals to their 2015 World Series title. This would lead to the team giving him a hefty extension, but since he has signed it, he has completely fallen off and has become one of the least productive players in the entire league.
There is absolutely no question that the Royals will opt to move on from Gordon once his they have the option to at the end of the 2019 season. This will inevitably lead to the end of Gordon’s career because he simply does not have the skill set anymore to be a member of the MLB.
1 Dustin Pedroia
It is truly depressing to see that Dustin Pedroia will likely never be able to play full-time at the MLB level again. In fact, his entire career is currently in jeopardy and the team is hoping his recent surgery will be enough to help him be healthy enough to be able to play in the league again.
However, the chances of this occurring appear to be slim and even if he does come back, he will never be the same player he was. There is a very solid chance that the veteran will be out of the league by 2020 and it sadly will not be by his own choice. It definitely will be a significant loss to the Red Sox.