Alex Rodriguez will play the final game of his career Friday and become a special instructor and advisor for the Yankees.
He announced his decision to retire an emotional Sunday morning press conference. Rodriguez took a long pause at the beginning and spoke haltingly as he began to describe his 22-year career.
A-Rod's final game will be against Tampa Bay. After that, Rodriguez will be unconditionally released and then sign the contract for the advisor role.
Rodriguez, 41, was having the worst season of his career, hitting .204 with nine homers and 39 RBIs. The announcement came with Rodriguez needing four more home runs to reach 700 for his career.
Rodriguez joined the Yankees in 2004 and helped them win the World Series in 2009, but missed the 2014 season after being suspended for using performance-enhanding drugs, which he had long denied.
In 2008, Rodriguez signed a 10-year, $275 million deal with the Yankees. He came to New York three years after signing a 10-year, $252 million deal with Texas. Rodriguez had multiple incentives in his contract tied to career home run total and is owed $21 million for 2017.
Just two days after Mark Teixeira's emotional retirement announcement, Rodriguez was in front of the media and his teammates announcing his farewell effective August 12.
Rodriguez could not duplicate his surprising performance from 2015, and had been relegated to bench duty since July 22. With the Yankees entering into a new phase trying to play young players and Rodriguez's diminishing production the mutual move to transition Rodriguez into an advisory role makes sense for both parties.
Rodriguez's admission that he did not need an ultimatum from the club concerning his release speaks volumes to me about how he feels his chances of turning things around really were. It also became obvious he was not going to be given a true shot at improving his performance. Rodriguez also admitted that it had been embarrassing to sit on the bench, another reason he may have felt it was time to call it quits.
Rodriguez has long been considered an incredible teammate. He exhibits extensive knowledge of the game and his tutoring cannot and should not be understated. Rodriguez expressed excitement in taking on the advisory role.
What this means for the future is clear. The Yankees will shed a good deal of payroll toward the luxury tax, a full season-plus ahead of what was expected. It provides even more leeway for the organization to proceed with the transition to how the club's roster is constructed.
Update, 10:35 a.m.: Yankees players were told that their attendance at Alex Rodriguez's press conference Sunday monring is mandatory.
The Yankees have called a press conference for Sunday morning at 11 a.m. with Alex Rodriguez, GM Brian Cashman and manager Joe Girardi.
It's expected the three will address the future of the struggling veteran slugger, having one of the worst seasons of his career, hitting .204 with nine homers and 29 RBIs.
Rodriguez, who turned 41 July 27, has been out of the Yankees lineup more often than not in recent weeks. He has 696 career homers, the last coming July 18 against Baltimore. He was 5-for-37 in July.