New York Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez plans on retiring after the 2017 season, as he told ESPN on Wednesday.
“I won’t play after next year,” Rodriguez said. “I’ve really enjoyed my time. For me, it is time for me to go home and be Dad.”
Rodriguez is only on contract with the Yankees until the conclusion of the 2017 season, when he will turn 41 and complete the 10-year 275 million dollar contract he signed with the Yankees in 2007.
He is going into his second-to-last season with historic numbers, totaling 687 career home runs, 3,070 hits and 2,055 RBIs. He only needs 28 home runs to tie Babe Ruth for third on the all time home run list, and needs 76 to become the home run king himself and pass Miami Marlins hitting coach Barry Bonds for first place.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” Rodriguez said. “It has been very challenging at times, but it has been an incredible learning experience. I would say that the two years that I’ve probably enjoyed the most were my first when I was 19 and won the batting title with [Ken] Griffey and last year. The contrast of those two, at 40 and 18 or 19. It is hard to believe.”
When Rodriguez was asked about his “Victory Tour,” like former teammates Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera took on their final seasons, Rodriguez did not seem like he wanted to do the same.
“I’m certainly going to enjoy, but hopefully it is just low-key,” Rodriguez said. “I haven’t thought that far ahead, to be honest with you.”
For those curious about his plans after baseball, you’re going to have to wait for that. Rodriguez is simply trying to focus on the here and now.
“I’m still at first base; I have a lot of work to do,” Rodriguez said. “I think MLB, [commissioner] Rob [Manfred], [COO] Tony Petitti and [MLB chief communications officer] Pat Courtney, those people deserve a lot of credit for even allowing me to come back and even continue my career.”
“I get treated better today than before my screw-ups,” Rodriguez said. “That is hard to believe and it is hard to comprehend sometimes, but I’m grateful for it.”