The New York Yankees have announced a press conference with Alex Rodriguez for Sunday at 11 am.
Yankees, A-Rod to hold Sunday news conference https://t.co/TwZfyUBe17
— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) August 7, 2016
This comes just a day after Yankee first baseman Mark Teixeira held a press conference of his own on Friday to announce his retirement at the end of the regular season.
Although the reason for this press conference remains in question, there is speculation that Rodriguez will make an announcement similar to his teammate during a year in which the slugger has struggled to produce at the plate for the Yankees.
All signs point to this being the end of A-Rod’s career. Only questions are when and how.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 7, 2016
In attendance for the press conference will be Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and manager Joe Girardi. While Teixeira was alone in his decision to retire, the presence of Cashman and Girardi for Sunday’s press conference throws an added question mark into the equation.
One possibility is that A-Rod announces his retirement. Rodriguez had an offensive resurgence in 2015, belting 33 home runs and collecting 86 RBIs, but has failed to replicate those numbers this year, hitting just .204 with nine home runs and a .609 OPS.
While the Yankees traded outfielder and designated hitter Carlos Beltran last week to the Texas Rangers, that has not led to more at-bats for Rodriguez. Instead, the Yankees promoted power-hitting catching prospect Gary Sanchez, who has rotated at catcher and DH with Brian McCann.
However, Rodriguez simply retiring would not be a simple assumption. Rodriguez is still under contract for $27 million for the 2017 season. If Rodriguez were to retire, he would be walking away from that money.
Also, Rodriguez currently sits at 696 career home runs, just four away from the nice round number of 700 that has only been reached by Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, and Barry Bonds. As tainted a milestone as that may be for an admitted steroid user, those four home runs may very well be the last incentive for Rodriguez to hang on to his cleats.
Which is why a buyout is a more likely scenario. Should the Yankees buy out the final year of Rodriguez’s contract as well as the rest of this season, they would still have to pay A-Rod his money, but they could put his roster spot to use with a younger player who fits into the their future plans. This also works to Rodriguez’s advantage in that he still gets paid and could choose to either continue his career with another team under a cheaper contract or call it quits.
Given that the details of the press conference have remained under wraps, this is all the speculation that we can make until Sunday morning.