Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Former Yankees reliever Zack Britton has announced his retirement from baseball at age 35.

In a piece from The Athletic’s Britt Ghiroli, Britton cited his four children as his reason for stepping away. He last pitched in 2022, recording two outs for the Yankees in a rushed return from Tommy John surgery. Britton was back on the injured list the next day and hasn’t pitched since.

“It might not have been perfect from a career standpoint or going out on a high note, but you don’t always get to pick,” Britton said. My gut was telling me it was time to see what life was like on the other side.”

Britton ends a 12-year career with the Yankees and Orioles with 154 career saves and two All-Star appearances. Baltimore made him a third-round pick out of high school in 2006 and he debuted in 2011. He spent three years as a starter before moving to the bullpen full-time.

His best season was in 2016 when he led the AL with 47 saves and posted a phenomenal 0.54 ERA out of the bullpen. Britton also finished fourth in Cy Young voting that same year.

The Yankees acquired Zack Britton midway through the 2018 season, sending former top prospect Dillon Tate to Baltimore. He then put his power sinker to good use…as a setup man. Ever the one to lead by example, Britton wound up re-signing with the Yankees in free agency to remain in that role. He didn’t care because it meant winning.

It wasn’t easy for Britton either. From fracturing his skull in a high school game to a torn Achilles right after that signature 2016 season, to the elbow issues that proved too much, he’s overcome his fair share of obstacles.

And as to his Yankees tenure, he had nothing but good things to say.

“Putting on that uniform and walking into the clubhouse, the history of it hits you,” Britton recalled. “The whole experience of being a Yankee is impressive. You are playing for one of the most recognized sports teams in the world; the way they treat you, and the things you get — I wouldn’t trade that experience for the world. I wish I had won a World Series there. I wish I hadn’t been injured as much as I had. That was special.”

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.