In his message to Yankees fans, Jeter stated:
Last year was a tough one for me. As I suffered through a bunch of injuries, I realized that some of the things that always came easily to me and were always fun had started to become a struggle. The one thing I always said to myself was that when baseball started to feel more like a job, it would be time to move forward.
So really it was months ago when I realized that this season would likely be my last. As I came to this conclusion and shared it with my friends and family, they all told me to hold off saying anything until I was absolutely 100% sure.
And the thing is, I could not be more sure. I know it in my heart. The 2014 season will be my last year playing professional baseball.
Jeter will retire having played 20 seasons with the Yankees and will go down as one of the team's greatest players. He has won five World Series in Yankee pinstripes, been named to 13 All-Star teams, and won the Rookie of the Year in his inaugural big league season. The 39-year-old shortstop has 3,316 career hits and a .312 career batting average.
The 2013 campaign was no doubt the worst of Jeter's career. The 19-year veteran never fully recovered from a fractured left ankle he suffered during the 2012 ALCS, playing in just 17 games and batting .190/.288/.254. This came after a stellar 2012 season in which Jeter hit .316/.362/.429, his best season in three years despite turning 37.
With Mariano River's retirement after the 2013 season, this marks the second straight year in which a Yankees legend has decided to hang them up. After all the homage paid to Rivera during his farewell tour around the big leagues, Jeter will likely go through a similar farewell process, with MLB teams paying their respects to the future Hall of Famer.
It remains to be seen how well Jeter plays in his final season or how healthy he will be. Regardless, his final year in MLB will no doubt be one of baseball's biggest storylines in 2014.