After two decades in the public eye, Alex Rodriguez says goodbye to baseball next Friday. The New York Yankees held a press conference this morning to break the news. Rodriguez will be released and then serve as a special advisor to the team following Friday.
The Yankees are still obligated to pay the remaining $27 million of his contract that lasts through 2017. According to ESPN, the Yankees reached out to other teams for trade value but none showed interest.
Since the age of 18, Rodriguez has seen the highest highs and lowest lows of Major League Baseball. He was the prototype five-tool-player joining as a Mariner. His star would continually rise as he joined the Texas Rangers on a 10-year deal worth $252 million. At the time it was the most lucrative contract in MLB history. His power numbers increased rapidly during his time in Texas, as we now know would be with the help of performance-enhancing drugs.
But his star continued to rise as he was traded to the New York Yankees, moving to third base because the Captain Derek Jeter was already at the position (shortstop). Rodriguez would win two of his three MVP’s in a pinstripe uniform. But as the playoffs approached every year, Rodriguez stats would decline in painful fashion. In the regular season Rodriguez was one of the most feared batters. In the playoffs, he failed to achieve the same level of success.
There is the outlier of the 2009 postseason. After the Yankees acquired a slew of key free agents, they would again find themselves in the World Series. Rodriguez bat began to click in those playoffs for his best postseason run of his career. His performances at the plate would win him the postseason MVP as he and the Yankees would capture their 27th championship (Rodriguez one and only title).
Age began to catch up with the ball player, but tabloids and allegations would paint a dark shadow on his career. After lying about steroid use on public tv, Rodriguez admitted to his use throughout his career. Things changed for the worst as he was suspended for a full 162 games during the 2014 season. In a sad ending to his otherwise illustrious career, Rodriguez will be missed by some. A three-time-MVP and 14 time All Star with a smile that lit up the tv since 1995. His own insecurities would be his undoings. His staggering numbers would still be all time impressive without the PEDs, and would result in a first-ballot Hall of Fame bid. Rodriguez, now 41, will most likely not receive a Hall of Fame bid, and will be missed by only Yankees fans.