Amid the worst season of his MLB career, New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez announced Sunday he will play his final game Friday before assuming a new role with the club.

The three-time American League MVP made his decision public in a press conference, according to YES Network. Per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, A-Rod will become a special advisor and instructor for the Yanks after Friday’s clash with the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Yankees and managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner released a statement following the announcement, per Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal:

Rodriguez was emotional when addressing the media, per Jack Curry of YES Network:

Rodriguez said during Sunday’s press conference that he wanted to continue playing but that the Yankees were no longer on board with that idea, via’s Richard Justice: “No athlete ever ends [their] career the way they want to. They all want to keep playing. Saying goodbye may be the hardest part of the job. … I think I can play baseball. You always think you have one more hit in you. That wasn’t in the cards. That was the Yankees’ decision.”

Rodriguez said he is “excited” about his new role and “at peace with the organization’s decision,” per Justice.

There had been whispers that New York would release Rodriguez before his contract was up following the 2017 season.

After the Yankees dealt Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller, Ivan Nova and Carlos Beltran before the non-waiver trade deadline, Peter Botte and Christian Red of the New York Daily News cited a source who said Rodriguez “could” be released by the end of this season.

Rodriguez did his best to keep a level head when reporters asked him about the possibility of being released.

“I’ve had a great career,” he said Tuesday, per’s Wallace Matthews. “Whatever happens, happens.”

Rodriguez also said he was hopeful the Yankees wouldn’t release him, per Matthews, but that “it’s out of my control.”

Rodriguez has been used sparingly this season. He’s hitting .204/.252/.356, and Yankees manager Joe Girardi has expressed frustration when answering questions about Rodriguez’s status.

“When I don’t play him, I’m questioned,” Girardi said July 30, per Matthews. “When I play him, I’m questioned. Anyone who wants to do it can do it next time.”

Rodriguez said prior to the 2016 season that he would play out his contract, but he and the Yankees have altered their course.

Despite the fact that he will no longer be on the field, Rodriguez is still in line to earn a huge salary, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today:

After a bounce-back 2015 season in which he hit 33 home runs, Rodriguez is no longer an impact hitter and can’t play the field, so his value is negligible.

His 13-year tenure with the Yankees was never smooth sailing. Though he won MVP Awards in 2005 and 2007, he played second fiddle to Derek Jeter until Jeter’s retirement in 2014.

There were off-field issues, too, notably a season-long suspension in 2014 for his role in the Biogenesis scandal, and Rodriguez never quite endeared himself to the notoriously tough New York crowd.

But now that his career has reached its conclusion, there’s no denying he was one of the best players of his generation. Rodriguez’s three MVP Awards are tied for the second-most in MLB history, and he ranks fourth all time with 696 homers.

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