The New York Yankees may not be retiring Alex Rodriguez’s number, but they certainly wouldn’t have enjoyed the same success years ago without his services in the lineup every day.
Rodriguez was one of the best offensive players of his time, playing 13 years with the Yankees that included suspensions due to steroids, multiple MVP seasons and a World Series in 2009. Now 48 years old and a talking head in the media, Rodriguez is beginning to reflect on his time with the Yankees and a decision he nearly made that would’ve started his villain arc.
When Rodriguez was due for a big extension, eventually signing a 10-year, $275 million deal in 2007 with the Yankees, he actually wanted to go play for the Mets across town.
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A-Rod Made the Right Choice Signing With the Yankees
Unfortunately, the Mets were unwilling to pay a substantial amount for his services, but Rodriguez wanted to combat Derek Jeter with the Yankees, creating one of the best rivalries in the game. A-Rod’s wishes failed to come true simply because his agent, Scott Boras, was looking for the biggest payday, which he helped Rodriguez secure an American sports record twice.
“I told my agent, Scott Boras, that I would take a 50% haircut to come play in New York with the Mets,” Rodriguez said. “I just thought it was a perfect story, for me personally, for the Mets, for baseball.”
Instead, Rodriguez will go on to play 1,509 games with the Yankees, recording 351 homers, and 1,096 RBIs, hitting .283 with a .378 OBP, .523 slugging rate, and .900 OPS. If only the Yankees were able to replicate those numbers nowadays with some of their big acquisitions, notably Giancarlo Stanton.
Rodriguez had a long and successful career leading up to his final season in 2016 at 40 years old. He’s now eight years removed from baseball and finding success in the media world, but he has a few regrets and the fact the Yankees haven’t retired his number yet stands out as one of his biggest qualms with the organization.