Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina both announced before the 2022 season that they planned for it to be the final season of their illustrious careers.
Pujols, a three-time National League MVP, has gotten something of a retirement tour, as he should. Back with the St. Louis Cardinals for his final campaign, Pujols is fifth in MLB history with 686 home runs. He's likely to finish his career at fifth, as he's 10 home runs away from No. 4, Alex Rodriguez, who hit 696 home runs in his career.
Not only will Pujols be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, but so will Molina, a 10-time All-Star and nine-time Gold Glove Award winner. A right knee injury has kept Molina out since mid-June, but he's currently on a rehab assignment and should rejoin the team in time for one final pennant race.
Adam Wainwright -- another Cardinals icon -- is 40 years old, but he has a 3.28 ERA and 3.81 FIP in 20 starts this season. He could retire this offseason along with Pujols and Molina, but frankly, that's hard to imagine given how high of a level he's still pitching at.
So what other former stars might be playing in the final couple weeks of their MLB careers like Pujols and Molina? Here's a look at five other possibilities:
Charlie Morton, Atlanta Braves
Morton developed into a star in his mid-30s with the Houston Astros, winning a World Series with the team in 2017 and finishing third in American League Cy Young Award voting with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2019. Set to turn 39 in November, Morton has a 4.34 ERA and 4.08 FIP over 110 innings this season. The two-time World Series Champion has flirted with retirement in the past, and if the Braves decline his $20 million option for 2023 -- which they probably will -- he may decide to call it a career.
Didi Gregorius, Philadelphia Phillies
Gregorius is only 32, but a slew of injuries seem to have zapped him of his power, as he has just one home run in 193 at-bats this season and a .596 OPS. He also has -14 defensive runs saved since the start of the 2021 season. Gregorius' two-year/$28 million deal with the Phillies will expire at the end of this season. Barring a late-season resurgence at the plate, Gregorius is probably going to be looking at a minor-league deal with an invite to Spring Training next year. And there's no guarantee that will extend what's been a very solid big league career for the slugging shortstop.
Rich Hill, Boston Red Sox
Hill has had tremendous longevity, and extended his career by signing a one-year/$5 million deal to return to the Red Sox for his third stint this past offseason. In 15 starts this year, Hill has a 4.20 ERA and 4.06 FIP, so he's been relatively effective as a back-end starter. But the 42-year-old is currently on the injured list with a ligament tear in his left knee, and at a certain point, Father Time catches up with everyone.
Nelson Cruz, Washington Nationals
In the coming days, Cruz will likely be shipped from the lowly Nationals to a contending team with the hopes that his bat heats up in the final weeks of the season. The 42-year-old has has played for forever, but this may be the end of the line. Cruz has a .664 OPS in 2022. He has 457 home runs in his career, but he probably doesn't have enough left in the tank to get to 500.
Robinson Canó, Atlanta Braves
Canó has just 15 hits in 100 at-bats split between the New York Mets, San Diego Padres and the Braves this season. He'll be hard pressed to remain on the Braves roster for the remainder of the season, and even if he does, he's unlikely to garner interest this winter. The silver lining for Canó is that whether he plays or not, the Mets and Seattle Mariners will combine to pay him more than $23 million in 2023, the final season of a 10-year/$240 million deal. The 39-year-old is one of the greatest second baseman in MLB history from a statistical sense, but multiple PED suspensions will cloud his Hall of Fame case.