Tag: Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez to Host ‘Back in the Game’ Reality Show

Former MLB star Alex Rodriguez is set to host a CNBC reality show, Back in the Game, according to Alex Weprin of Politico.

On the show—which includes former NFL player Michael Strahan as an executive producer—ex-athletes in dire financial straits will be paired with “money-savvy mentors who can help them get back on their feet.” These advisors may help the athletes launch a second career or pursue a new business opportunity.

Finances likely won’t ever be an issue for Rodriguez, who signed a 10-year, $252 million deal with the Texas Rangers in 2000, though he opted out of that agreement in 2007 to sign a 10-year, $275 million contract with the New York Yankees that year. 

And the money is still coming in from that Rangers deal, per SI.com:

Although the Yankees will not be responsible for his checks after 2017, he will still be getting paid by the Rangers. At the time he was traded, he was to receive $36 million in deferred money from that record deal. That was converted to an assignment bonus, which has racked up two percent in interest every year. He will continue to get paid by the Rangers until June 15, 2025.

The Yankees are also on the hook for the $21 million Rodriguez is owed on the final year of his deal with the team.

Rodriguez, 41, had one of the most polarizing careers in MLB history. He was an electrifying talent and hit 696 career home runs in his career, fourth in MLB history, but he also was suspended for the entirety of the 2014 season after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. He also admitted to using PEDs in 2009.

In his post-baseball career, Rodriguez has shown a natural knack for television and was a big hit on Fox’s postseason coverage. Ben Reiter of SI.com noted: “The hyper-prepared Rodriguez has exhibited his singular baseball mind by providing analysis that is both nuanced and well formulated.”

While Rodriguez won’t be breaking down baseball games for CNBC, it’s become clear he has a future in television.


You can follow Timothy Rapp on Twitter.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Alex Rodriguez: Latest News, Rumors and Speculation Surrounding Free-Agent 3B

Alex Rodriguez‘s MLB career might not be over just yet. The Miami Marlins are reportedly considering bringing the slugger home following Giancarlo Stanton’s season-ending injury.

Continue for updates.

A-Rod Looking to Own MLB Team

Thursday, Aug. 18

Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball reported Rodriguez is unlikely to play in 2017 because he eventually wants to be part of an ownership group:

While he has an official go-ahead to play elsewhere from Yankees people (“God bless him,” is the way one Yankees connected person put it), and some say managing partner Hal Steinbrenner would really be OK with A-Rod donning another uniform, Rodriguez is probably smart enough to realize the best course for him is to make something of his advisory role with the Yankees, and continue to improve his relationship with Steinbrenner.

A-Rod’s big goal is to be part of an ownership group in baseball some day, and he knows he needs all the friends in high places he can get.

Publicist Comments on A-Rod’s Future

Monday, Aug. 15

“I want to put all this talk to rest about Alex playing for any team this season,” Ron Berkowitz, Rodriguez’s publicist, said in a statement, via Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News. “Like he said Friday night, he is happy, and he is going to take some time to relax and hang with his family and friends. It’s not happening.”

Marlins Not Ruling Out A-Rod as Stanton Replacement

Monday, Aug. 15

“I think we’re going through that process right now,” Marlins President of Baseball Operations Michael Hill said, per Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. “We’re putting our list together of options. [Rodriguez] is available, so he will be on that list. We’ll see where that goes.”

Hill continued, per Frisaro:

I have no idea what his interest level is to continue playing. He has something set up to move into the [Yankees’] front office. I don’t know where his head is on that, but where we are now, this team has played too well for too long. We’re right in the thick of this thing, and we’re going to do everything in our power to help in any way we can. If it’s him, or if it’s someone else, we’re going to try to find a way.

ESPN’s Jim Bowden (via MLB Network Radio) believes Rodriguez will join the Marlins to play first base, but he noted he has to clear waivers first. However, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, citing a source, reported that although “nothing [is] imminent yet,” the Marlins are “actively considering him.”

Morosi noted that an “MLB team signing A-Rod today would owe him approximately $136,000 this year. Yankees total bill for season would be [approximately] $19.864 million.”

Miami would be a poetic end for Rodriguez, who spent most of his formative years growing up in the city and still lives in the area. The Marlins are in desperate need of power in their lineup after Stanton was ruled out for the remainder of 2016 with a groin injury. They’re second in the National League East at 61-56 and just 0.5 games out of the second wild-card spot.

With the Marlins being in the National League, A-Rod would have to play the field. He’s done so just seven times since returning to the sport from his 2014 performance-enhancing drug suspension.

Rodriguez Struggled in 2016 Before Final Game with Yankees

The Yankees released Rodriguez, 41, on Saturday. He didn’t rule out playing for another team when speaking to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports earlier this month.

“I never thought when I first entered Fenway Park as an 18-year-old that I would play for 10 years, forget 22 years,” Rodriguez said Friday, per Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal. “I’m going to take some time for myself and nap.”

Scheduled to make around $27 million for the remainder of 2016 and 2017, Rodriguez is currently lined up with a special adviser position with the Yankees until next December. It’s unclear how that agreement might be impacted if Rodriguez chooses to play again.

A couple of issues present themselves, though. One, of course, is that Rodriguez wasn’t helping anyone with his bat this season. His .200/.247/.351 slash line marked a career worst, and he totaled just 16 extra-base hits in 225 at bats.


Follow Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) on Twitter.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Alex Rodriguez Officially Released by Yankees: Latest Comments, Reaction

One day after getting a king’s send-off at Yankee Stadium, Alex Rodriguez is no longer a New York Yankees player.

Per Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, the Yankees released Rodriguez prior to Saturday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

The move was expected and part of a plan New York put in place when Rodriguez and the team announced Friday would be his final game.

On Sunday, Hoch reported Rodriguez would play his last game for the Yankees and then be unconditionally released before serving as a special advisor through Dec. 31, 2017.

Included in Hoch’s report was a statement from New York managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner:

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. 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.

As the Yankees played Friday night, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported the team would call up Tyler Austin from Triple-A to take Rodriguez’s spot on the 25-man roster.

Per the team’s public relations department, in addition to bringing Austin up, New York also added Aaron Judge to the roster.

The week leading up to Rodriguez’s farewell was a mess, with Yankees manager Joe Girardi continuing to sit the three-time American League MVP after saying Sunday, “If he wants to play in every game, I’ll find a way.” Rodriguez started Thursday against the Boston Red Sox and again Friday against the Rays.

In his final game, Rodriguez went 1-for-4 with an RBI double in the first inning. He also moved from designated hitter to third base at the start of the ninth inning, though he was removed after Yankees closer Dellin Betances struck out Mikie Mahtook to start the inning. Rodriguez then enjoyed one last ovation from the New York crowd.

If it was the end of Rodriguez’s career, he got a nice send-off considering how quickly everything came together.

Rodriguez is no longer the superstar who was on the short list of best players in Major League Baseball, but there is no denying the impact he had on the sport for 22 years. He wasn’t always liked, but his talent was incredible, and he was often a joy to watch.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

After a Farewell Night Like No Other, Is This Really Goodbye for Alex Rodriguez?

NEW YORK — With most guys, the retirement announcement comes before the ceremony.

No, not with most guys. With everyone.

Everyone but Alex Rodriguez.

It’s always complicated with him, so of course it was complicated on the night that should mark the end of a brilliant if also monumentally flawed career. Of course the skies roared with thunder Friday, just as Yankee Stadium public address announcer Paul Olden said, “Alex, you’ve spent 12 of your 22 seasons with the Yankees.”

“It was certainly, like, biblical,” Rodriguez himself said later. “You can’t make that up. I guess we went out with a bang.”

Great line, and if you’d like, you can take it as a hint. You can take a hint from him saying “it’s going to be tough to top that.”

Or maybe you can take the biggest hint of all from the last thing he said in his press conference after the New York Yankees‘ 6-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays: “I saw [rookie catcher] Gary Sanchez have a [big] series in Boston and I looked at him and said, ‘I can’t do that anymore.’ And I was happy about it. I’m at peace.”

Is it possible A-Rod knows he’s done as a player, that no matter what he has said over the last few weeks he knows he’s not good enough anymore? Or is this going-away game going to look even stranger when it’s followed in a few weeks by his comeback game in Miami or Chicago or who knows where?

Just remember, he still hasn’t said he’s retired.

He showed in his first at-bat Friday that he can still get it done if all the conditions are right. He lined a run-scoring double to right-center off Rays starter Chris Archer, and it went all the way to the wall. It even came off a 96 mph fastball, with Katie Sharp of RiverAveBlues.com quickly tweeting how unusual that was:

The fact is Rodriguez struggles with major league fastballs these days. The fact is he can’t play in the field, even if he did make an emotional return to third base for one batter in the ninth inning Friday.

Sure, he’s only four home runs away from 700, and it’s tough to leave so close to an historic milestone. But Al Kaline and Andres Galarraga both retired with exactly 399 home runs, so it wouldn’t exactly be unprecedented.

Perhaps A-Rod’s refusal to answer the retirement question is simply an acknowledgement he can’t be sure another team will want him. Or maybe he just wasn’t sure if he wanted this to be the end.

The uncertainty is perfect A-Rod, and so was Friday night.

It went beyond the thunder and lightning during the Yankees’ understated pregame ceremony. There was also the oddity that Mariano Rivera was the only one of his ex-teammates who was invited to take part, even though many others will be in town for the Yankees’ 1996 reunion Saturday afternoon.

The sellout crowd didn’t seem to mind, because it was clear from the start it only cared about Rodriguez. The fans booed manager Joe Girardi’s name during the pregame lineup announcement, then cheered at the news that A-Rod was batting third for the first time in more than a month.

The Girardi-Rodriguez relationship has become a big storyline all week, as Rodriguez admitted that he wanted to play all three games in Boston and that the manager told him no (A-Rod pinch-hit Wednesday and started Thursday). Girardi also turned down his request to play third base Friday.

The tension clearly bothered Girardi, and he seemed determined to make Friday the best A-Rod day possible.

“Some people think I wanted to make negative decisions,” Girardi said after the game. “That’s not the case. I have a huge heart.”

With that, the sometimes stoic and often combative manager broke down in tears.

“If this is the last time he plays, I wanted it to be something he’d never forget,” Girardi said.

But even that vow wasn’t iron-clad. Despite their trade-deadline sell-off, the Yankees remain on the fringe of the American League wild-card race (3.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox for the final playoff spot).

Because of that, Girardi said he would only play Rodriguez in the field Friday night if the Yankees led by three runs or more. Aaron Hicks’ seventh-inning home run gave them a three-run lead.

He told Rodriguez of the plan, and said it was A-Rod’s wish that it only be for one batter. So after Starlin Castro made the final out of the bottom of the eighth, Rodriguez took the field for the ninth. And after Dellin Betances struck out Mikie Mahtook for the first out, Ronald Torreyes replaced him at third base.

Rodriguez didn’t leave the field immediately, first going over to hug his teammates, then stopping in front of the dugout to salute the fans who had serenaded him all night.

It looked, for all the world, like a star saying goodbye for good.

“With all the things I’ve been through, and to have an ending like that tonight, I don’t know what else I can ask for,” Rodriguez said later.

Take that as another hint if you wish. Write in his final career numbers, the 3,115 career hits and the 548 doubles and 2,086 RBI, to go with those 696 home runs.

Just write them in pencil, at least for now.

Remember, too, that as the Yankees and Rays waited out a half-hour rain delay before Friday’s game could begin, Billy Joel’s song “Miami 2017” played over the sound system.

Take that as a hint. Or take it as just one more perfectly odd A-Rod moment on what may or may not have been the last night we’ll ever see him play.


Danny Knobler covers Major League Baseball as a national columnist for Bleacher Report.

Follow Danny on Twitter and talk baseball.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Alex Rodriguez: Stats, Highlights and Reaction from Yankees Star’s Final Game

After 22 years and 2,784 MLB games, Alex Rodriguez laced up his cleats for the final time with the New York Yankees on Friday night against the Tampa Bay Rays, going 1-for-4 with an RBI in a 6-3 win.

Rodriguez got the Yankees on the board in the first inning with an RBI double off Rays starter Chris Archer, which scored Brett Gardner from first base to tie the game at 1-1:

Mike Petriello of MLB.com provided the Statcast information on A-Rod’s first-inning hit:

There was some ominous weather before the game, as Joel Sherman of the New York Post noted:

Even though Rodriguez was not done after his first at-bat, New Yorkers are a notoriously impatient group of people. USA Today‘s Ted Berg noted how restless the fans were getting:

Rodriguez’s first-inning double would be the extent of his contributions to the Yankees’ win. He grounded out in the fourth inning, struck out in the fifth andin his final career at-batgrounded out to end the seventh inning.

However, that at-bat would not be the last time fans saw Rodriguez in the game. With the Yankees leading 6-3 in the ninth inning, manager Joe Girardi put A-Rod in at third base to make sure he was part of the action one last time.

After Yankees closer Dellin Betances struck out Mikie Mahtook for the first out of the ninth inning, Ronald Torreyes replaced Rodriguez so he could get a proper standing ovation from the New York faithful.

Pinstripe Alley captured a wonderful moment between the two Yankees whose careers are ending in 2016:

ESPN’s Marly Rivera captured an overhead image of the Yankees dugout after Girardi pulled Rodriguez:

After the final out, Wallace Matthews of ESPN.com noted Rodriguez went back onto the Yankee Stadium field to take some dirt as a souvenir. 

The start of the game was delayed for nearly an hour, prompting NBC Sports’ Craig Calcaterra to offer this possible explanation:

Before Friday’s game, some of Rodriguez’s former teammates released statements to congratulate the 41-year-old on a historic career. 

Derek Jeter, who had a season-long retirement tour in 2014, had this to say about Rodriguez, per Teddy Mitrosilis of Fox Sports:

I’ve spent 22 years playing against, playing with and watching Alex from afar, and there are two things that stand out to me the most: the conversations we had when we were young — hoping for the opportunity to play at the Major League level and then somehow finding a way to stick around — and the championship we won together in 2009. That was a season everyone on that team can cherish. What people don’t realize is how much time, effort and work that Alex put in on a daily basis. He lives and breathes baseball. I know it will be difficult for him to not be on the field, but I’m sure he will continue to give back to the game. Congrats, Alex.

Former Yankees closer Mariano Rivera walked onto the field with Rodriguez’s two daughters, as Pinstripe Alley showed:

It was not an easy road for Rodriguez or the Yankees to reach this moment.

A-Rod announced this past Sunday that he would play his last game Friday and the Yankees would unconditionally release him from his contract, at which point he would work as a special adviser with the team through 2017, per Bryan Hoch of MLB.com.

However, Girardi did not play Rodriguez in Boston on Tuesday and gave him one pinch-hit appearance Wednesday before finally putting him in the lineup Thursday and letting him hit third for his final game Friday.

Girardi managed to make Rodriguez a sympathetic figure, telling reporters Wednesday that he didn’t want to make A-Rod the focus, per Maureen Mullen of USA Today:

But I believe that (I) have a responsibility to the organization, to the team, to the players in that room to put out what (I) feel is the best lineup and try to win every game. Also (I) have a responsibility to baseball because there are teams fighting for (playoff) spots here and you have to do what you feel is the best, and that becomes difficult.

No one is going to deny that Rodriguez has been awful this year. He was hitting .199/.247/.348 coming into Friday, but Girardi is just two years removed from playing Jeter every day in the No. 2 spot when he had a .304 on-base percentage. Girardi was hearing it from the New York fans before the game, per Mike Axisa of CBS Sports:

There has been plenty of negativity regarding Girardi’s handling of Rodriguez, but Friday was a moment to celebrate. 

Regardless of any personal feelings fans have toward Rodriguez, he was one of Major League Baseball’s defining stars for two decades. He walks away from the game with three American League MVP awards, 696 home runs, 14 All-Star appearances and one World Series title. 

Rodriguez’s career did not end with the monumental bang that every superstar athlete hopes to achieve before walking away, but his imprint on the sport from the time the Seattle Mariners made him the No. 1 overall pick in the 1993 draft to his final at-bat can’t be understated.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Alex Rodriguez-Joe Girardi Drama Making Yankees ‘Farewell Tour’ a Rocky Affair

Just when the New York Yankees allowed us to think we might be done forever with controversies centered around Alex Rodriguez, manager Joe Girardi pulled us back in.

In case you’ve recently crawled out of a cave with no television and/or spotty Wi-Fi, we’re in the final days of A-Rod’s career. After 12 years of Alex’s occasionally great, occasionally not-so-great and presently bad service for the Yankees, the club announced Sunday it will release the 41-year-old slugger from his contract, which runs through 2017, after he plays his last game at Yankee Stadium on Friday.

If you hadn’t been in that cave, you could have seen this coming.

Rodriguez returned from his 2014 suspension to have a heck of a season in 2015, but he’s hit just .204 with a .609 OPS in 2016. He’s also been stuck on 696 career home runs since July 18. All this has forced Girardi to mainly confine Rodriguez to the bench. When the club finally embraced an overdue rebuilding phase at the trade deadline, phasing out A-Rod became an inevitable next step.

And yet there was no fire and brimstone when the word came down Sunday. A-Rod was emotional in a press conference, but not angry. Ditto for the Yankees. Given how just how sour things got between them during the whole Biogenesis thing, this goes to show how far things have come in the last two years.

Since the split did indeed seem so darn amiable, it was no surprise when Girardi tee’d Rodriguez for a proper farewell in the final week of a 22-year career.

“If he wants to play in every game, I’ll find a way,” the Yankees skipper said, per Bryan Hoch of MLB.com.

That brings us, at last, to A-Rod controversy No. 4,674.

So far in the final days of A-Rod’s career, the Yankees have played two games against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. A-Rod did not start in a 5-3 loss Tuesday night, nor did he start in a 9-4 win Wednesday night. In all, he’s come to the plate once.

And not by choice.

“I came to the stadium hoping to play all three games, maybe two out of three,” Rodriguez said Tuesday, per Barry M. Bloom of MLB.com. “[Girardi] just said, ‘We’re trying to win games.'”

Rodriguez went on to call Girardi’s decision “surprising and shocking.” Those two words can also be used to describe A-Rod’s entire career, in which he’s balanced being a 14-time All-Star and three-time MVP being twice connected to chemical enhancement and frequently playing the part of a heel straight out of professional wrestling.

However, A-Rod did his time for performance-enhancing drugs in 2014 and has played the good soldier ever since his return. He can’t be faulted for wanting to go out with dignity. For that matter, can you blame him if he wanted to get as many chances as possible to bump his career home run total to 700?

All you can do, really, is wonder what Girardi’s deal is. Even the explanation he gave to ESPN.com’s Andrew Marchand and others on Wednesday doesn’t clear things up:

Ah, right…except for the fact no manager in the game knows farewell tours better than Girardi.

He’s overseen two of them, one of which featured him routinely prioritizing respect for the farewell tourer over his team’s chances of winning. Mariano Rivera’s final year in 2013 was everything anybody could have hoped for. But when Derek Jeter bid his goodbyes in 2014, Girardi frequently batted him second despite his .256 average and a .617 OPS that was second-lowest in the American League.

Granted, you can use the ol’ “one of these things is not like the other” when placing the careers of Jeter and Rodriguez side by side. And as bad as Jeter was then, A-Rod’s no better now. The optics suggest Girardi knows this. The whispers confirm it.

“Joe believes he’s done,” a source told ESPN.com’s Wallace Matthews. “And he’s still trying to win these games.”

To the first part: sure. To the second part: seriously?

Their efforts didn’t amount to a postseason trip in 2014, but the Yankees were at least trying to contend during Jeter’s farewell tour. They can only say they’re trying to do that now, and they’ll fool nobody when they do. Teams that are trying to contend don’t trade Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller and Carlos Beltran.

That’s not contending. That’s tanking. Make no mistake—Girardi would be committing a far smaller sin by wasting a few at-bats on A-Rod this week than the one he committed when he wasted many at-bats on Jeter throughout 2014.

The times being what they are, Girardi is wrong to view Rodriguez’s farewell tour as a sideshow the Yankees don’t have time for. On the contrary, it’s a sideshow they should have made time for.

For one week, anyway, it’s one of the only reasons for fans to pay attention to the Yankees. That even goes for Red Sox fans. Their “We want A-Rod!” chant was one of the liveliest moments of Tuesday’s game. When A-Rod was called to pinch-hit on Wednesday, it was the liveliest moment of the game:

There’s no escaping thoughts of what Rodriguez might have done with more moments like this. In particular, thoughts of him hushing all the boos with a home run or two to get him closer to 700. Unlikely perhaps, but certainly a tantalizing appetizer for his final farewell at Yankee Stadium.

Mercifully, our not-so-long national nightmare will end Thursday. Girardi has confirmed Rodriguez will be in the lineup against left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez, giving him a chance to get a few hacks in before his big day at home on Friday.

But rather than the tail end of what should have been a jovial farewell, Rodriguez’s final two games will be more like a consolation prize. And a cheap one, at that.

Sure, you can say the Yankees don’t owe A-Rod anything. And realistically speaking, they don’t. Cliff Corcoran of Sports Illustrated crunched the numbers and found A-Rod hasn’t even been worth half of the $275 million contract he signed in 2007. And yes, he’s cost the Yankees headaches in addition to dollars.

Rodriguez’s good times in pinstripes, however, may be just as plentiful as the bad. Punctuated by MVP campaigns in 2005 and 2007, his first five seasons in New York were terrific. And in 2009, he willed the Yankees to their 27th World Series title almost single-handedly. He hit .438 with five home runs in the run-up to the Fall Classic, and each homer was seemingly more clutch than the last.

If nothing else, that’s the A-Rod the Yankees could have honored in his final days. But rather than let Rodriguez live large, Girardi and the Yankees are saying goodbye by letting him know who’s in charge.


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs unless otherwise noted/linked.

Follow zachrymer on Twitter

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Alex Rodriguez’s Final MLB Game Revealed, Will Serve Advisory Role After Release

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 MLB.com’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 ESPN.com’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.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Alex Rodriguez: Latest News, Rumors, Speculation on Star’s Future with Yankees

With the New York Yankees purging themselves of many veteran stars before the MLB‘s non-waiver trade deadline Monday, Alex Rodriguez‘s future remains up in the air.

Continue for updates.

Rodriguez a Candidate to be Released During 2016 Season

Tuesday, Aug. 2

According to Peter Botte and Christian Red of the New York Daily News, “While the more likely scenario still seems to be parting ways with A-Rod over the winter, a source familiar with the situation told the Daily News on Monday that there’s a chance releasing the slumping DH ‘could happen’ before the end of this season as part of the team’s ongoing overhaul.” 

Wallace Matthews of ESPN.com added context, noting there was “no chance” the veteran slugger would be waived to make room for elite catching prospect Gary Sanchez. 

That wouldn’t come as a huge surprise. The Yankees clearly indicated they were in rebuilding mode after trading relievers Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller, starting pitcher Ivan Nova and slugger Carlos Beltran before the deadline, per Billy Witz of the New York Times.

Ostensibly, that offers the Yankees the opportunity to open up playing time for a number of exciting, young prospects. Players like Rodriguez would stand in the way of giving those prospects playing time, however, making the possibility of his release seem realistic.

“I hope not,” Rodriguez told the Daily News when told there was a chance of his release. “I want to play and think I can make a difference on the field and in the clubhouse.”

General manager Brian Cashman noted that Rodriguez was a part of the team’s current plans, however, per Botte and Red:

A-Rod is a choice for our manager and coaching staff as they try to dissect every day what’s the best lineup to put out there. He’s going to do everything he continues to do to try to put himself in a position to succeed and then leave the decision making to the field staff if there’s opportunities to play or not.

The answer to that’s easy, I guess. We evaluate everything on a daily and weekly basis. We’re always trying to do the right thing. We’re always trying to do the best thing. Nothing has changed there.

Certainly, there are financial reasons to keep Rodriguez around. He’s still owed a guaranteed $21 million next season and the remainder of his salary this year. 

Struggling Rodriguez Coming to End of Road 

From a performance standpoint, however, Rodriguez has struggled. He’s hitting just .205 with nine home runs and 29 RBI entering Tuesday’s action. He’s hitting just .196 against right-handed pitching and was given only 37 at-bats in July, hitting .135 in the month with a homer and two RBI.

Either way, his days with the Yankees seem numbered. If the team decides to give younger prospects more playing time and A-Rod becomes disgruntled, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Yankees cut ties this season. Otherwise, it still seems most likely the team will move on from the veteran over the winter, as Botte and Red suggested.


You can follow Timothy Rapp on Twitter.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Yankees’ Rodriguez Makes History with Golden Sombrero at Age 41

New York Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez struck out in each of his four at-bats during Saturday’s 6-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, becoming the first batter in major league history to record a four-strikeout performance in both his teens and forties, per Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN.com).

The 41-year-old continues to struggle in what may be his last season, but Saturday’s showing was notably bad even by the reduced standards, with Rodriguez seeing just 17 pitches in four at-bats while recording a golden Sombrero.

Rays starter Drew Smyly fanned Rodriguez three times, including on his final pitch of a six-inning, two-run performance that improved the lefty’s record to a still-unsightly 3-11.

Rays relief pitcher Alex Colome later struck out Rodriguez to begin the ninth, eventually striking out the side to earn his 24th save of the year.

Reduced to a part-time role due to his poor performance on a team that was a clear seller at the trade deadline, Rodriguez followed Saturday’s showing by striking out in his only at-bat during Sunday’s 5-3 loss, making a brief appearance as a pinch-hitter.

Even after Saturday, the 41-year-old Rodriguez has impressively recorded just seven four-strikeout performances in his 2,779-game career, per ESPN Stats & Info.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Are We Watching the End of Alex Rodriguez’s Checkered MLB Career?

There are some skills Alex Rodriguez will never lose. He’ll always be able to tell us how good he is, how hard he works, how great he can be.

“I’ve been working really hard, tweaking, running and training,” he told reporters, including Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News. “My time will come.”

Sorry, Alex. Your time has come…and gone.

I know, it’s dangerous to call time on fading stars. David Ortiz was done in April and May 2009, except that he’s made five more All-Star teams since then, was a World Series MVP in 2013 and is now a 40-year-old marvel. Ichiro Suzuki was on the slow road to 3,000 hits until this year’s revival at age 42.

A-Rod himself was done three years ago because of injuries and issues, body parts that wouldn’t work and a baseball legal system that did. Then came last year, with 33 home runs and even a mention on one MVP ballot.

I try never to forget the words of Sparky Anderson, who liked to say “quality can always return, but mediocracy [his word!] never was.”

Rodriguez was quality, even if it was medically enhanced quality. He can always return, and a contract that guarantees him another $21 million next year suggests he will return, at least in body.

But why? To chase home run numbers that will forever be tainted? To prove he can still be a difference-maker for a team that wants to move past him?

He’ll be 41 later this month, and he looks every day of it.

“Me being productive in the middle of the lineup is going to help us get to the postseason,” Rodriguez told Feinsand in one of a few “exclusive” interviews during his midsummer media campaign.

It’s nice he still believes that (if he really does). Yankees management obviously isn’t buying in, at least not to the part about him being productive.

The Yankees have played 10 games this month, and Rodriguez started just one of them. Three were in San Diego, where the Yankees had no need for a designated hitter, but that leaves seven other games he could have played.

It’s true that part of the reason was Carlos Beltran’s sore hamstring, which pushed Beltran to the DH spot. But as Yankees general manager Brian Cashman admitted when the month began, the bigger issue was A-Rod’s OPS against right-handed pitchers.

“We’ve got to get this 2016 going,” Cashman told reporters, including Anthony Rieber of Newsday. “We’re struggling. It’s almost July. So we had a meeting the other day, and one of the things we came up with was obviously Alex, I think, is a .580 OPS against right-handed pitching this year.”

It was actually .584 at the time, and it’s .570 now, and while that’s not the worst in the major leagues, it’s down there in Erick Aybar country. It’s lower than the .598 Omar Infante had when the Kansas City Royals released him on June 21.

Infante is a light-hitting second baseman. A-Rod is a full-time designated hitter (or designated sitter), a guy who doesn’t even carry a glove.

But wait! Feinsand reported in the Daily News that A-Rod took a first baseman’s glove with him when he left for the All-Star break.

Asked by George A. King III of the New York Post whether Rodriguez will ever actually play first base, Cashman responded, “I don’t think anybody knows.”

The Yankees don’t need an aging, slow first baseman with a .570 OPS against right-handers any more than they need a DH with a .570 OPS against right-handers.

“Everybody slows down with age,” said one American League scout who saw the Yankees recently. “And he’s slowed down. Is there hope? I think there’s a chance. It’s a slim chance, but I don’t think anybody expected him to do what he did last year.”

The $21 million he’s due next year probably guarantees Rodriguez won’t leave on his own, no matter how bad it gets. He no doubt dreams of a revival that will see him go out next year the way his rival (and onetime friend) Ortiz is going out this season, or at least the way his other rival (and perhaps onetime friend) Derek Jeter did in 2014.

The tougher question is whether it could get bad enough that the Yankees swallow that sunk money and release A-Rod before his contract runs out. He probably would be done then, because even with the Yankees paying the freight, it’s hard to see another team taking him.

Even the chase for some kind of home run history—he’s stuck on 695 home runs, with none in his last 41 plate appearances—hardly seems to matter.

Rodriguez remains in pinstripes for now, battling for at-bats with Aaron Hicks and Rob Refsnyder, two guys with just a small fraction of the ability A-Rod once displayed.

Even Hicks, a career .220 hitter with a lower OPS (.562) than Rodriguez has this season, has seemed like a better option to the Yankees.

As the scout said, everybody slows down with age. In the case of Alex Rodriguez, his time has come.


Danny Knobler covers Major League Baseball as a national columnist for Bleacher Report.

Follow Danny on Twitter and talk baseball.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Copyright © 1996-2010 Kuzul. All rights reserved.
iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress