Alex Rodriguez, one of the greatest sluggers in baseball history, will suit up for his final game for the pinstripes on Friday, following which he would assume a position as special adviser and instructor with the New York Yankees.
On Sunday, the Yankees announced that A-Rod would be released from his player contract and sign a new contract to serve in his new role that would keep with the team through December 31, 2017.
“This is a tough day. I love this game and I love this team. And today I’m saying goodbye,” an emotional Rodriguez said in a press conference on Sunday. (Watch Video Above)
Rodriguez, 41, had been relegated to the role of a bench warmer this season, and it felt like the retirement decision was inevitable. “The last four weeks have not been fun. It’s been very painful and embarrassing to sit on the bench. It’s been awkward,” said Rodriguez, who won three AL MVP awards during the course of his legendary career.
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Alex Rodriguez had other options
According to A-Rod, Yankees GM Brian Cashman gave the slugger the option of suiting up for another team if he didn’t wish to call time on his playing career. However, Rodriguez felt it was in the best interest of Yankees fans to hang up the sneakers.
“A lot’s happened the last 72 hours. You know, when Hal told me, I just told him: ‘Give me a few days. I need to kind of think on this, sleep on it.’ I have not thought past the pinstripes, and my horizon is Friday. And, I haven’t thought much more than that.”
According to ESPN, the Yankees are “contractually obligated to pay Rodriguez the remainder of his $21 million salary for this season and the $21 million he is owed for 2017, the final season of a 10-year, $275 million contract that was the largest in Major League Baseball when he signed it.”
Several reports have hinted that New York wishes to blood more youngsters into the team and move past the Alex Rodriguez era.
Many of Rodriguez’s current and former teammates took to Twitter to bid him goodbye. There were also the funny memes.
— Michael Young (@MikeyY626) August 7, 2016
— Jim Palmer (@Jim22Palmer) August 7, 2016
— Jeremy Guthrie (@TheRealJGuts) August 7, 2016
Nobody will miss A-rod more than A-rod. pic.twitter.com/ccPi5m1Txg
— Pierre The Pelican (@PelicanPierre) August 7, 2016
— Travon Free (@Travon) August 7, 2016
— Laurence Holmes (@LaurenceWHolmes) August 7, 2016
— Ollie James (@OllieNYankees) August 7, 2016