TAMPA, Fla. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Alex Rodriguez maintains he will not attempt a comeback.
Released last August with more than a year left in his $275 million, 10-year contract, A-Rod spent his first day as New York Yankees spring training guest instructor. Asked Tuesday whether he is retired, the 41-year-old responded: “Yes, I am.”
Rodriguez said he received inquiries about possibly playing from “a few teams” after his release but decided not to pursue any of them. Any team could sign him for this year for the big league minimum of $535,000, which would be offset from the $20 million he is owed from the Yankees.
“I haven’t had those thoughts,” he said of playing again. “I know that was kind of the general sense, that I would probably come back and play last year. But being a Yankee means everything to me. I’m thankful to Hank and Hal (Steinbrenner) for the opportunity they gave me to rehab my life and get my life back in order from all the grave mistakes that I made. So walking out with my mother and my two daughters (after his final game) is something that I’ll never forget, and I thank Hal and the New York fans for giving me that night.”
Rodriguez hit 696 home runs in a 22-year big league career, including 351 during 12 seasons with New York.
Despite his passion for and deep knowledge of the game, A-Rod said he has no interest in managing, either. Aside from serving as a playoff analyst for Fox Sports and hosting an in-the-works MSNBC reality show, Rodriguez said he’s focused these days on being a good father.
His instructor gig with the Yankees will run three days this week and three more days later in camp. He will have the opportunity to tutor the franchise’s up-and-comers, including Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge, as well as top prospects Gleyber Torres and Clint Frazier.
“I thought the days of putting the uniform on and doing these pressers were over for me, but today was fun,” he told reporters. “It was great to put on the uniform and put No. 13 back on and be around all this great, young talent.
“There’s so much that’s expected here in New York, and it is so difficult to play in New York that I think, as staff and mentors, that’s the best thing we can do is get them ready for what’s expected from them, because it is a handful.”
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