Don’t get your hopes up on an Alex Rodriguez return to baseball in 2017.
According to Christian Red of the New York Daily News, Rodriguez is not trying to play for another club this season. The 41-year-old is focused on fulfilling his commitment as a “special advisor” to Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner.
Ron Berkowitz, Rodriguez’s spokesperson, told the Daily News that A-Rod is enjoying his time off from playing. He also added that Rodriguez is looking forward to Spring Training, where he’ll get the opportunity to work with some of the Yankees young talent.
There was speculation that Rodriguez would attempt a MLB comeback this season, being that he is just four home runs shy of the illustrious 700 homer club.
After a strong 2015 campaign in which he hit 33 homers, Rodriguez’s production fell off greatly in 2016. In 65 games as the team’s designated hitter last season, Rodriguez hit just .200 with 9 home runs. He was unconditionally released in August, but the Yankees still owe him a guaranteed $21 million for the 2017 season.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told the Daily News that he has heard “nothing new” in regards to Rodriguez’s desire to play in 2017. Here’s what Cashman had to say on the Rodriguez situation:
“He’s certainly invited to participate in spring training,” said Cashman. “But Alex is also free to do as he pleases, if he wants to try and keep playing. We welcome the opportunity for him to impact our young players at spring training. Alex would work directly for Hal (Steinbrenner). All the parameters have been vocalized and they remain the same from last year. He’s got a life to live too, and I’m sure he’s going to have a lot of opportunities in broadcasting, in business. People will be tugging him in a lot of different directions.”
Whether or not he pursues a MLB comeback, Rodriguez will definitely find ways to keep himself busy.
During the 2015 and 2016 postseasons, A-Rod served as an analyst for Fox Sports. It’s possible that he explores further broadcasting opportunities if his player career is indeed over.
He also could look to serve in a bigger role with the Yankees organization. Serving as an advisor, Rodriguez could look to spend more time with the Yankees minor league teams, helping mold some of the organization’s top talents. Two players he could specifically look to work with are Gleyber Torres and Jorge Mateo, both highly touted shortstop prospects.
And let’s not forget, Rodriguez is enjoying his quality time with his two daughters. His role as a “dad” has definitely taken priority, as the former slugger posts numerous pictures on social media about his family time with his daughters.
A comeback might not be in the cards for Rodriguez, but rest assure, the rumors will definitely continue to circulate. It’s safe to say that Rodriguez will attract a lot of media attention as the 2017 comes closer.