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Oft-injured Nick Johnson elects to retire

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Veteran first baseman Nick Johnson has decided to retire following a productive but injury-plagued 10-year career, New York's WFAN reported Monday.

The 34-year-old spent last season with the Orioles but played the bulk of his career with the Yankees and Nationals. A patient approach at the plate helped him post a career .399 on-base percentage, along with a .268 batting average, a .441 slugging percentage and 95 home runs.

A variety of ailments led Johnson to the disabled list more than a dozen times over the years. He missed the entire 2000 season in the Minor Leagues, as well as the entire '07 season with Washington. Johnson topped 100 games only four times, the last in '09 for the Nationals and Marlins.

The left-handed hitter usually was effective when healthy. From 2005-06 with Washington, he played 278 games and produced a .290/.419/.501 batting line, with 38 home runs and 151 RBIs.

The Yankees selected Johnson out of high school in the third round of the 1996 First-Year Player Draft, and he was with New York until the club traded him to the Expos after the 2003 season, as part of a deal for pitcher Javier Vazquez. He spent a year in Montreal, then four-plus in Washington when the franchise moved.

After the Nationals dealt him to the Marlins in July 2009, Johnson bounced back to the Yankees and then to the Indians, spending '11 at Triple-A. He played in 38 games for Baltimore last year, hitting .207/.324/.391 before suffering a season-ending wrist injury in June.

Andrew Simon is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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