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Rodriguez to play last game for Yankees

AAP logoAAP 8/08/2016

The uncertainty about the future of Alex Rodriguez in the Major Leagues was laid with the confirmation that he will play his last game with the New York Yankees but then stay on as a special adviser and instructor for the team.

The Dominican slugger and the Yankees held a press conference before their Sunday game against the Cleveland Indians.

"Saying goodbye may be the hardest part of the job," Rodriguez said at Yankee Stadium. "But that's what I'm doing today."

He will play his last game against the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday at Yankee Stadium, thus ending a 22-season career that has proved to be one of the most prolific and controversial in the history of baseball and during which he served a year's suspension from the sport for alleged doping.

The 41-year-old has batted .204 so far this season, with nine home runs and 29 RBIs in 216 times at bat, and his poor showing relegated him to the bench for most of last month, starting only once and going to the plate just seven times in 14 games since July 22.

Yankees coach Joe Girardi also didn't include him on the starting roster for Sunday's match-up against the Indians.

As of Sunday, Rodriguez had a career 696 home runs, just 18 short of Babe Ruth's career total of 714.

"Those are not the cards I was dealt," he said, referring to making it to the 700 home run mark, or even to surpassing Ruth. "I'm at peace with the organisation's decision."

Rodriguez has been named Most Valuable Player for the American League three times and has played in the All-Star Game 14 times.

After Friday's game, Rodriguez will be unconditionally released by the team and will temporarily return home to Florida to be with his family.

He has a salary contract worth $US20 million this year and is guaranteed to earn another $US20 million next year, the last year of his 10-year contract with the Yankees worth $US217 million, which was the largest in baseball history at the time it was signed.

Meanwhile, Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said in a statement: "After spending several days discussing this plan with Alex, I am pleased that he will remain a part of our organisation moving forward and transition into a role in which I know he can flourish."

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