Appearing at camp in his capacity as a Yankees spring instructor, former star Alex Rodriguez told reports that he has no intentions of staging a comeback at 41 years of age. As Jack Curry of the YES Network was among those to report (links to Twitter), Rodriguez says he’s officially retire and won’t be looking to make a return to the majors.
We have heard strong suggestions of this before, of course, including a recent statement from Rodriguez’s spokesperson stating that Rodriguez did not intend to play in 2017. But this appears to be the first time that Rodriguez himself has spoken definitively on the matter, making clear that he has officially hung up his spikes and doesn’t intend to pull them back out of the locker.
Despite those prior indications, there have been persistent questions about whether Rodriguez might change his mind at some point — not least of which because he’s just four home runs shy of 700. He’d also have represented a low-cost signing, since the Yankees are still obligated for his $21MM salary this year. (That fact will remain unchanged.)
Rodriguez did note that several organizations reached out to him after he wrapped up his tenure with the Yankees in the middle of the 2016 season. He declined to provide details, but it seems there were opportunities with teams other than the Marlins — the only club that had been linked publicly to the veteran slugger. Though Rodriguez was a shell of his former self in 2016, he was quite productive the season prior. He might also have represented an intriguing gate attraction, and continues to draw plaudits for his baseball acumen even as his reputation has suffered due to his troubling history with PEDs.
With today’s news, it seems we can confidently put to bed any further questions of A-Rod’s future — except, perhaps, as they pertain to his candidacy for the Hall of Fame and non-playing pursuits. In addition to his role with the Yankees, the future extent of which remains to be seen, Rodriguez appears likely to enhance his presence as an analyst. Having previously worked the postseason coverage for FOX Sports, Rodriguez is now in talks to spend time in the YES Network booth, according to Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com. He’s also set to host a reality show on CNBC that will focus on retired athletes’ financial problems.