Rumors of the New York Yankees potentially releasing 41-year-old Alex Rodriguez have been going on for weeks. In fact, there were rumors that the team was considering cutting both Rodriguez and first baseman Mark Teixeira, but at this point, both players are still playing in pinstripes and no decision has been made about their future.
Alex Rodriguez, who is currently hitting 0.204 with nine home runs and 29 RBIs in 216 at-bats this season, was asked by reporters prior to Tuesday night’s game against the New York Mets about the rumors.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) August 2, 2016
“Whatever they do, I’m at peace,” Rodriguez told reporters.
“I’ve had a long career. I’ve been through a lot. I’m happy to be a Yankee. I love New York. I think I have a lot to contribute still. But you have to be realistic,” Alex said.
“I know the organization has a brighter future today than it did last week, and hopefully I’m part of the equation, but if I’m not, I can accept it very clearly,” Rodriguez said. “At-bats are going to come if they come. If they don’t, they don’t…I think I can contribute, I think I can help out in the clubhouse, but if not, I have two beautiful daughters waiting for me in Miami.”
Alex Rodriguez made the final out of the Yankees’ 7-1 loss to the Mets on Tuesday night when he hit a fly ball to shallow right field. After the game, manager Joe Girardi was asked by the media whether that was Alex’s final at-bat in a Yankees uniform, and his answer was encouraging for Rodriguez.
“I don’t necessarily think so, no. I mean, no, I mean, we have, I mean, like I said, I mean, my plans are for him to be there tomorrow with us, I mean, I haven’t, there have been discussions of that,” Girardi said.
Girardi was then asked a follow-up question about whether Rodriguez would be in the lineup on Wednesday night against Mets left-handed pitcher Steven Matz and he was just as unsure about that.
“No, I have not decided that yet,” Girardi said.
This response is rather interesting from Girardi. He’s become synonymous for planning his lineups, scheduling off-days, and mapping out pitching rotations sometimes weeks in advance, and the fact that he wouldn’t say if Alex Rodriguez would be in the lineup for a game the next day really raises some eyebrows.
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) August 2, 2016
Over the last week, the Yankees have made a commitment to the future of the franchise and have placed less of an emphasis on the future. The team traded Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller, Carlos Beltran, and Ivan Nova in separate deals and brought back a number of top prospects in return. That type of philosophical change would seem to signal the potential end of Rodriguez’s tenure in New York.
More specifically, the Yankees are expected to call up top prospect Gary Sanchez prior to Wednesday’s game against the Mets. The team is going to have to make a move in order to make room for him on the 25-man roster. After all of the rumors surrounding Alex Rodriguez, it would seem that his release could be that move, but ESPN‘s Wallace Matthews reports that isn’t the case.
Matthews says that a source told ESPN.com that there’s “no chance” Alex gets released on Wednesday, but that doesn’t mean that it couldn’t come in the next week, two weeks, or later in the season.
The Yankees aren’t doing themselves any favors by holding onto Rodriguez. Until something is announced definitively, the team is going to have to continue to answer questions about Alex’s status, and it does nothing but create a distraction. At this point, the Yankees would be further ahead to just let Alex Rodriguez go and continue to look towards the suddenly bright future.
[Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images]