TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Five years after claiming the Yankees were trying to run him out of baseball, Alex Rodriguez is remaining with New York as a revered elder statesman.
New York said Sunday that A-Rod will be a special adviser.
“I think he has a lot to offer,” new Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “Hopefully it’s an opportunity for him to impact our team. I think everyone understands just how smart of a baseball mind he is and his ability I think to communicate that sometimes is really something he’s special at, especially with the younger guys.”
When Rodriguez retired in August 2016 during a season-long slump, he agreed to serve as an adviser and instructor for the remainder of his $275 million, 10-year contract. Rodriguez spent a few days each year working with prospects, and when that deal expired at the end of last season he spoke with owner Hal Steinbrenner about remaining in some role.
Nick Swisher also was added as a special adviser, joining Reggie Jackson and Hideki Matsui.
Jackson says the 42-year-old Rodriguez could have an on-field future if he wants to.
“Alex is a real student of the game. I think he’s got the ability to manage. I think he’s got those skills. It’s a good place for him to learn,” Jackson said. “I think he wants to own.”
Rodriguez, who is replacing Boone as an ESPN analyst on Sunday night telecasts, claimed in 2013 the Yankees’ medical stuff mishandled his hip injury. A-Rod had surgery and missed most of the season. He returned and was suspended for all of 2014 for violations of baseball’s drug agreement and labor contract.
“These are exciting times for the New York Yankees, and I do not take this opportunity for granted,” Rodriguez said in a statement. “I am genuinely thankful for the trust the organization has placed in me, and I am looking forward to lending whatever support or expertise is needed of me.”
Jackson is excited about adding Giancarlo Stanton to Aaron Judge in the Yankees’ lineup.
“You see two twin towers, man, getting off the bus, it’s something to look at,” Jackson said. “We’ll sell out some batting practices and we’ll run out of balls once in a while, but it’ll be fun for everybody.”
His message to media is “put the heat on,” and his advice to Stanton is simply: “Play good.”
“It’ll be fun in spring training,” he said. “And it will be work the first month. They’ll want to know why he didn’t hit a homer the first day. Look, he’s been around it, last year when he’s trying to hit 60 and last year he’s trying to hit 50. There was some pressure in there. Miami’s not New York, but he’ll be fine and he’s surrounded with the right group, the right people, the right guys.”
(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)