A-Rod is hanging up his cleats.
Baseball legend Alex Rodriguez announced his retirement from the game on Sunday, telling reporters that he would be playing his last MLB game with the New York Yankees this Friday, then taking a special advisor position with the club through 2017.
“This is a tough day,” Rodriguez, 41, told reporters. “I love this game, and I love this team. And today, I’m saying goodbye to both.”
The baseball great -- whose storied, 22-year career has featured extreme highs and lows, from batting titles and MVP crowns to doping scandals and postseason disappointments -- is still owed $21 million in 2017 and about $7 million for the remainder of this year by the Yankees. General manager Brian Cashman confirmed that Rodriguez will receive his full salary through the expiration of his 10-year, $275 million contract.
“After spending several days discussing this plan with Alex, I am pleased that he will remain a part of our organization moving forward and transition into a role in which I know he can flourish,” said Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner in a statement. “We have an exciting group of talented young players at every level of our system. Our job as an organization is to utilize every resource possible to allow them to reach their potential, and I expect Alex to directly contribute to their growth and success. Baseball runs through his blood.”
Rodriguez began his major league career with the Seattle Mariners in 1994. After a brief stint with the Texas Rangers, he landed in the Bronx in 2004 and helped lead the Yankees to a World Series win in 2009. He is a 14-time All-Star, 10-time Silver Slugger, and a three-time Babe Ruth Home Run Award Winner. A-Rod will have until Friday to add to his career home run total, which currently sits at 696, fourth highest in history. That figure, however, may have an asterisk next to it as Rodriguez goes down in baseball’s history books.
“I want to be remembered as someone who tripped and fell a lot but kept getting up,” he said on Sunday.