Just-released slugger Alex Rodriguez has already announced that he won’t play with a team other than the Yankees in 2016, but it is still unclear whether he’ll look to suit up again in the future. While there’s nothing official, and plenty of time remains for him to change his mind, A-Rod has told friends that he’s done playing, per Jon Heyman of Fan Rag.
The 41-year-old, who is among the most productive players in major league history, hasn’t yet had much time to digest his time away from the game. New York cut him loose five days ago after a mini-farewell tour of sorts.
Despite a remarkable bounceback season in 2015, coming on the heels of a highly publicized PED suspension, Rodriguez hadn’t managed to stay productive in his age-40 campaign. Over his 243 plate appearances, he carried a weak .200/.247/.351 batting line while exclusively appearing in the DH spot (up until the final inning of his tenure in New York).
Part of the severance included a deal that will make Rodriguez a special instructor and adviser next year. That doesn’t mean, though, that the organization would get in the way of him joining another team in a playing capacity. Owner Hal Steinbrenner says that it’s “a very flexible situation.”
Whether or not another team would have serious interest also remains to be seen, but it can’t be forgotten that Rodriguez posted a .250/.356/.486 slash just last year. He also contributed 33 home runs in the 2015 season, so he’s not far removed from showing serious pop.
One club that has been mentioned with some interest is the Marlins, and Heyman says the team did at least have some internal dialogue on the possibility of bringing in the hometown star. But Marlins president David Samson tamped down the concept in comments to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Samson downplayed the reports as the product of Rodriguez’s geographic ties to the Miami area. Of course, given his defensive limitations at this stage of his career, the former shortstop and third baseman would seem best suited to play in the American League if he ends up deciding to make a return endeavor.