Embattled slugger Alex Rodriguez wants to stay with Yankees
Detroit, MI, United States (4E Sports) – Slugger Alex Rodriguez reiterated his desire to remain with the New York Yankees despite his struggles that contributed to the team’s early demise in the American League Championship Series.
“I’ve never thought about going to another team,” Rodriguez said after the Yankees were swept by the Detroit Tigers Thursday. “My focus is to stay here. Let’s make that very, very clear. I will be back and I have a lot to prove and I will come back on a mission.”
The 38-year-old Rodriguez, who has a full no-trade clause in his contract that guarantees him $114 million in the next five years, has been the subject of trade rumors due to his poor performance in the postseason.
It was reported that the Yankees were talking to the Miami Marlins about a possible trade that will send the slugger to his hometown.
When asked if he’s willing to waive his no-trade clause to play for the Marlins, Rodriguez said the idea has never entered his mind.
“I haven’t thought about that. I love New York City. I plan to be here. And I plan to come back and be productive for this team for quite a while,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez started Game 4 of the ALCS on the bench but entered the game in the sixth inning as a pinch hitter for Raul Ibanez. He popped out to shallow center and grounded out to shortstop in the ninth inning of the Yankees’ 8-1 loss.
Rodriguez was benched for two of the four games of the ALCS and for the fifth game of the AL Division Series between the Yankees and Baltimore Orioles.
He finished the postseason hitting just .111 in the ALCS, .120 (3 for 25) in the postseason and struck out 12 times.
Aside from the guaranteed money, Rodriguez’s contract includes a marketing agreement with the Yankees that could add as much as $30 million to the deal in the form of $6 million bonuses for reaching each of five target home run totals up to the all-time record of 762 held by Barry Bonds.
Rodriguez has 647 home runs. His next milestone bonus would be passing Willie Mays at 660. This season, Rodriguez hit .272 with 18 home runs and 57 RBIs, among the lowest power and average totals of his career.
Rodriguez won the AL MVP in 2007 with a .314 batting average, 54 home runs and 156 RBIs.