Willingham retires after 11 seasons

Josh Willingham is retiring from baseball after an 11-year major league career, the outfielder told ESPN.com on Monday.

Willingham, 35, hit .253 with 195 home runs during a career that included stints with the Florida Marlins, Washington Nationals, Oakland Athletics, Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals. His best season came in 2012, when he hit 35 homers, drove in 110 runs and won a Silver Slugger Award with the Twins.

Although he said he received a substantial offer from a contending club this offseason, he ultimately decided against returning in 2015.

"After praying on my decision many times and talking to my wife, my father and ex-players who have gone through the same process toward the end of their careers, I have decided to retire," Willingham said.

"I felt like it wouldn't be fair to myself, and more importantly to the team that was paying me a lot of money to perform at a high level, if there was a chance my dedication would waver -- particularly as the season got longer. I'm honored to have played for as many years as I have, and I feel even luckier to walk away on my own terms instead of having the decision made for me."

Willingham made his final career stop with the Royals, who acquired him from Minnesota in a trade for minor leaguer Jason Adam on Aug. 11. Willingham hit .233 (17-for-73) with two home runs in 24 regular-season games with Kansas City. He went 1-for-4 in limited postseason duty during the Royals' run to the World Series.

Agent Matt Sosnick declined to comment when asked which teams had expressed interest in Willingham this offseason.