9 MLB Stars Potentially Entering Their Final Seasons

A handful of star-caliber players are nearing the ends of their respective careers. Let's check out 9 of the most prominent names.

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 22: Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrates after hitting a two run home run in the fifth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at PNC Park on August 22, 2023 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Over the last two years, the St. Louis Cardinals have had three franchise icons and MLB legends — Albert Pujols, Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright — retire from the sport, with the latter two spending the entirety of their respective careers with the NL’s most decorated franchise.

Among other notables who have walked away over the last two offseasons are two-time AL MVP Miguel Cabrera, two-time AL Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber, 2015 AL MVP Josh Donaldson and seven-time All-Star Nelson Cruz.

So with the 2024 season approaching, we decided to take a look at nine players who could be entering the final seasons of their excellent MLB careers.

9 MLB Stars That Could be Nearing the End of Their Careers

Charlie Blackmon, Colorado Rockies

Age in 2024 Season: 37

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Because he fractured his right hand in June, Blackmon only played in 96 games a season ago. Still, he posted an .803 OPS in 2023, which was enough for the Rockies to sign him to a one-year, $13 million deal, which features up to $2 million in incentives based off of how many plate appearances he has in his 14th season. Rockies ownership doesn’t do a ton to excite their fanbase, but continuing to bring back Blackmon — who has spent his entire career in Colorado — is pretty cool.

Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals

Age in 2024 Season: 38

Carpenter is back with the Cardinals on a $740,000 MLB deal for the 2024 season. After spending the first 11 seasons of his career in St. Louis, Carpenter had stints with the New York Yankees and San Diego Padres over the last two seasons. He had 15 home runs in only 47 games for the Yankees in 2022, but like just about everything with the 2023 Padres, Carpenter disappointed with a .641 OPS. Carpenter will still work walks, and has enough pop to potentially make an impact for the Cardinals. There are a lot of “ifs” with the 2024 Cardinals, though.

Brandon Crawford, St. Louis Cardinals

Age in 2024 Season: 37

If you need an idea of how much Crawford loves the game, he gave it to you in late February when he signed a one-year, $2 million MLB deal to join the Cardinals as a utility player after a tremendous 13-year run with the San Francisco Giants. Following a disappointing 71-91 season a year ago, Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak didn’t exactly go with a youth movement.

Instead, the Cardinals signed Crawford (37), Sonny Gray (34), Kyle Gibson (36), Lance Lynn (36) and Carpenter (38), who join Paul Goldschmidt (36) and Nolan Arenado (32). Will the Cardinals be able to put things together as an older team and make a deep playoff run like the 2002 San Francisco Giants? It’s fair to be skeptical, but it will be fun to watch no matter the outcome.

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Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers

Age in 2024 Season: 36

Kershaw, an MLB legend, is back for at least one more season with the Dodgers, signing a complicated contract with the Dodgers that features $5 million in guarantees for 2024, a slew of incentives that can increase the value of the deal and a $5 million player option with further escalators for the 2025 season.

Kershaw will open the 2024 season on the 60-day injured list as he recovers from the shoulder surgery he underwent last November. He won’t be in play until the summer for the Dodgers, but should provide a shot in the arm once he returns for his 17th season in Los Angeles. The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner went 13-5 with a 2.46 ERA and 4.03 FIP over 131 2/3 innings pitched in 2023.

Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates

Age in 2024 Season: 37

McCutchen was productive in his return to the Pittsburgh, homering 12 times, driving in 46 runs and drawing 75 walks in 112 games for the Pirates. A partial tear of his left achilles ended McCutchen’s 2023 season in early September, but he showed enough for the Pirates to bring him back on a one-year, $5 million deal for 2024. The former NL MVP recorded his 2,000th career hit last year, and is sitting on 299 career home runs, so should reach another milestone early in his 16th MLB campaign.

Charlie Morton MLB
NORTH PORT, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 23: Charlie Morton #50 of the Atlanta Braves poses during the 2024 Atlanta Braves Photo Day at CoolToday Park on February 23, 2024 in North Port, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

Charlie Morton, Atlanta Braves

Age in 2024 Season: 40

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Morton has truly had a remarkable career. From 2008-2016, Morton had a 4.54 ERA and 4.10 FIP over 893 innings pitched for the Braves, Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies. But since the start of the 2017 season, Morton has a 3.55 ERA and 3.51 FIP in 1,067 1/3 innings pitched for the Houston Astros, Tampa Bay Rays and Braves. He closed out the 2017 World Series for the Astros, and finished third in AL Cy Young Award voting with the Rays in 2019.

Now in his fourth season back with the Braves, Morton has averaged 174 innings pitched over the last three seasons. The Braves exercised his $20 million club option for 2024, but his MLB future after that is uncertain.

David Robertson, Texas Rangers

Age in 2024 Season: 39

A nightmarish month of August put a damper on what was otherwise a very impressive 2023 season for Robertson. After Edwin Díaz went down for the season in the World Baseball Classic, Robertson stepped up and was the top relief option for the New York Mets, recording 14 saves and posting a 2.05 ERA in 40 games.

He was traded to the Miami Marlins in July, and his 5.06 ERA would lead you to believe he was a disaster for the Fish. In August, he was. However, Robertson settled down in September, allowing just two runs in 11 appearances. That gave the defending World Series Champion Rangers enough confidence to give Robertson $11.5 million for 2024. He’ll likely be the top set-up man for José Leclerc.

Justin Turner, Toronto Blue Jays

Age in 2024 Season: 39

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Turner was quite productive in what turned out to be his lone season with the Boston Red Sox, clubbing 23 home runs and driving in 96 runs. That earned the long-time Dodger a one-year, $13 million deal with the Blue Jays, where he’ll be the primary DH and an occasional option at both corner infield spots. Turner’s age is more the reason he’s on this list than anything, because he posted an .800 OPS in 2023, and appears to have a lot left in the tank. But as you can approach 40, things can go south quickly. And with only one year of contract security, all Turner is guaranteed right now is 2024.

Joey Votto, Toronto Blue Jays

Age in 2024 Season: 40

Votto is in camp with the Blue Jays, his hometown team, as a non-roster invitee. This, of course, follows up 17 seasons with the Cincinnati Reds where Votto cemented himself as one of the greatest players in team history, winning the 2010 NL MVP and making six All-Star teams. He’s not guaranteed anything in Toronto, and it appears he’ll open the season at Triple-A Buffalo.

Votto did hit 25 home runs over two final seasons with the Reds, which saw left shoulder surgery limit him to just 156 games. If healthy, Votto probably still can contribute in a limited role.