New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez shocked the baseball world by announcing his retirement from the game at the age of 41 on Sunday.
Let the speculation end: A-Rod's final big-league game will be Friday and he'll stay on as an advisor/instructor. pic.twitter.com/lKa0QIUJAI
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) August 7, 2016
Rodriguez has one year and $21 million remaining on his contract.
It’s a stunning move from the struggling and enigmatic power hitter. Not only is Rodriguez leaving $20-plus million on the table, he’s stepping away from the game mere months after he indicated that 2017 would be his last in the majors.
Rodriguez’s tenure in New York has been filled with off-field drama and a lack of overall production on the field.
The 14-time All-Star was suspended for the entire 2014 season after finding himself involved in the PED underbelly of the baseball world. He then returned to very little fanfare last season, eventually finishing with 33 homers and 86 RBI.
However, Rodriguez’s struggles this season forced the Yankees to rely on youngsters to take his place in the lineup. Overall, the 41 year old — limited to playing DH — is hitting .204 with nine homers, 29 RBI and a .252 on-base percentage.
Just four homers shy of the 700 mark for his career, that’s likely the final accomplishment Rodriguez will reach prior to walking away from the game itself.
It will end up being a sad ending to one of the most prolific careers in the modern history of the game. It’s also an ending no one could have envisioned when Rodriguez joined the pinstripes back in 2004.