Following the 2017 season, the New York Yankees will have a different look. Yankees’ DH Alex Rodriguez has told ESPN’s Andrew Marchand that he will retire at the conclusion of his contract, which expires in 2017.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 23, 2016
There’s really nothing surprising here. Rodriguez will be 42 at the conclusion of the 2017 season, which is well beyond the time that most players, even great ones, have decided to retire.
The decision probably does mean that Rodriguez will not break the career home run record. Entering the 2016 season, Rodriguez has 687 career bombs, leaving him 75 short of Barry Bonds’ record of 762.
For Rodriguez to break Bonds’ mark, he’d have to average 36 bombs over these next two seasons. Given that he had a great season in 2013 and hit 33 homers, averaging 36 over the next two seasons does not seem likely.
The other interesting question surrounds Rodriguez’s legacy, particularly as it relates to his Hall of Fame status. Based on his career numbers, Rodriguez is easily a Hall of Fame player, but players linked to Performance Enhancing Drugs (ie: Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire) have generally not been treated kindly in Hall of Fame voting.
PED issues aside, Rodriguez is one of the best power hitters of all-time. His 687 home runs and 2,055 RBI’s are both fourth on the career list. He also has three American League MVP Awards and two Gold Gloves.
Rodriguez has been with the Yankees since 2004, though he missed the entire 2014 season with a suspension. Prior to heading to New York, Rodriguez played with the Seattle Mariners from 1994-2000 and the Texas Rangers from 2001-2003.