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On this day in Yankees history – 2004

February 16th, 2004 was a monumental day across all sports. The Yankees acquired Alex Rodriguez from the Texas Rangers on this day twelve years ago, and the ramifications are still being felt today, for better or worse. The trade sent then 2B Alfonso Soriano and Joaquin Arias to the Rangers in exchange for A-Rod. The contract he was under in Texas was already a record-breaker, but his new 10 year, $275 million contract in 2007 shattered the record once more.

As A-Rod’s time as a Yankee–and baseball player come to an end, it will be exciting to see what his post-baseball life ensues. His Hall of Fame numbers will most likely be not enough, due to the obvious PED scandal that is still being talked about today. Some see Rodriguez as a smug, greedy cheater, and that’s fair. But his 2015 season showed a new side of A-Rod; a more playful, approachable, and mature player who realizes his time is winding down. Different people will have different opinions of him, but I have always loved watching him play. I will still tell my kids one day that he was one of the best all around players ever when healthy.

Now, his contract is painful to look at, and yes, at the end of the day he produced one ring for the franchise to display. But on this day ten years ago, there was a shift of power and legacy in Major League Baseball, caused by one talented man, and a team willing to pay his price. Love him or hate him, A-Rod has changed the landscape of the MLB as we know it. It’s hard to believe that memorable day was twelve years ago exactly, but as A-Rod hangs up his cleats one last time, there will hopefully be another monumental Yankee signing in Bryce Harper in the near future (maybe).