Whether you love him or loathe him, one thing is for sure: Alex Rodriguez is no longer the New York Yankees problem on the field. The 14-time All-Star announced at a Sunday morning press conference that he would step away from the game and take a behind-the-scenes role for the organization.
It feels like almost a century ago when Rodriguez was traded from the Texas Rangers to the Bronx Bombers for Alfonso Soriano, and to Yankees fans it felt like an eternity between A-Rod becoming a cornerstone of the franchise and the deliver of a World Series win.
When the team finally hoisted the Commissioner’s Trophy in 2009, the same year they opened the new Yankee Stadium, it felt like everything was starting over fresh. The team was back on top, and Rodriguez, one of the most talented players of his generation, was finally a winner. This all coming just two years after his infamous opt out controversy, when Rodriguez and his agent, Scott Boras, announced during Game Four of the World Series that the all-star would not re-sign with the Yankees.
In any other situation Rodriguez, who currently sits four home runs away from 700, has been AL MVP three times, and won nearly every award, would be a sure bet for the Hall of Fame, but his suspension during the 2014 season for violating the league’s Performance Enhancing Drugs policy makes that future cloudy.
His final game will be this Friday against the Tampa Bay Rays. He will serve as a special advisor and instructor for the team through December 31st, 2017. He will receive the remainder of his salary this year and the $21 million he is due next season.