Former major league baseball star Alex Rodriguez is maintaining that he will not attempt any comeback. Released in August of last year, with over one season remaining on his 10-year $275 million contract, A-Rod worked as a guest instructor for the first day on Tuesday at spring training with the New York Yankees.
Asked if he was retired, Rodriquez replied that, “Yes, I am.”
He said he was happy doing what he was doing now with younger players. He added that he learned some of his biggest lessons from some of his mistakes and they happened to be big mistakes.
The former shortstop and third baseman turned designated hitter said he had inquiries about returning to play from a couple of teams after he was released, but decided he would not pursue any of them.
Any MLB team could sign A-Rod for the year for the MLB minimum of $535,000, which would then be offset from the $20 million the Yankees owe him.
New York honored A-Rod with a big pre-game ceremony prior to his last game on August 12 and at the time Rodriguez considered playing elsewhere, but called those interested in his services and told them he would not play.
During his career, Rodriguez hit 696 homers in 22 seasons in the majors, including 351 as a Yankees player over 12 seasons.
He was suspended for the entire 2014 season due to violating the substance abuse program of MLB. However, he returned in 2015 to hit 33 home runs and knock in 86 runs. In 2016, he hit .200 during 65 games.
Rodriguez watched Yankees’ players work out on Tuesday from different areas of the field close to third, short and behind the batting cage.
The movements he said around the field were emulating Lou Piniella his first major league manager with Seattle.
Rodriguez also said that he is not interested in managing and said during this past offseason he only swung a bat while at his office to help him think.
The Yankees will likely open the season with Masahiro Tanaka on the mound. He tossed a bullpen session of 26 pitches on Tuesday and will make his spring training debut Tuesday versus Detroit.
Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury arrived at spring training after missing the first two days due to the birth of his child. Joe Niese a left-handed pitcher agreed on Monday to a minor league contract and will bid to pitch out of the Yankees bullpen.