Alex Rodriguez will play his final major league game next Friday with the New York Yankees and then become a special adviser and instructor with the team, reports the AP. Rodriguez and the club made the announcement before Sunday's game against Cleveland. A-Rod will play against Tampa Bay at Yankee Stadium on Friday night before ending one of the most prolific and polarizing figures in baseball history.
The 41-year-old designated hitter, a three-time AL MVP and 14-time All-Star, is hitting .204 this season with nine home runs and 29 RBIs in 216 at-bats. His worsening slump finally relegated him to the bench for most of the past month, with A-Rod getting only one start and seven at-bats in 14 games since July 22. When the fourth-place Yankees (55-55) traded veterans Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller, Carlos Beltran, and Ivan Nova leading up to last Monday's trade deadline, they made it clear they were turning toward a youth movement. Rodriguez has 696 home runs and trails only Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) ,and Babe Ruth (714) on the career list.