Stunning news hit the headlines of the New York Times this week. Three-time Most Valuable Player, Alex Rodriguez announced that he will hang up his cleats for the final time after Friday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Rodriguez is just four homeruns shy of 700 and ranks 4th for the most homeruns in MLB history. A-Rod’s storied career has been filled with endless amounts of drama, ranging from on the field brawls, to performance enhancing drug use. It is shocking that one of the most productive players for over 20 years would retire so abruptly. Nowadays, we are used to having the Derek Jeters, David Ortizes, and Kobe Bryants of the world announce that it will be their final season so he all the corny gifts and praise throughout the season. A-Rod is arguably the most talented player to ever play the game, so why did the Yankees ask him to no longer be an active player on their roster? Is it because he’s a pompous ass? Probably. But I also think it may be because the Yankees are a step ahead of the game and taking a page from one of their rivals.
Following the game on Friday, Rodriguez will be released from the team and added as an advisor to the players. This means that A-Rod will still receive the $27 million that he has left on his contract which will count against the luxury-tax. So it seems like the Yankees aren’t gaining anything.
A-Rod’s deteriorating talent is allowing the Yankees to play younger players. Let’s look at the Red Sox of a few years ago. Their horrible 2014 and 2015 seasons allowed them to play Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley, and Xander Bogaerts on a daily basis. This most certainly helped develop them into the players they are today. If the Yankees decide to take this approach, it will allow them to develop their farm systems under the watchful eye of one of the best players of all time, A-Rod. At the ripe age of 18, A-Rod joined the MLB and has the experience to teach the young studs in the system to become productive players.
Though I do believe the Yankees had enough of A-Rod’s dramatics, the way they handled this situation works out for both parties. The Yankees are on a complete overhaul and have taken huge strides to become competitive again in the American League East. Look out for the Bronx Bombers come next year, they seem primed to make major moves during the offseason and have acquired young pieces to be talented for years to come.