After 22 seasons, 14 All-Star Games, 10 Silver Sluggers, two Gold Gloves and three MVPs, Alex Rodriguez will retire.
In a press conference on Sunday morning, Rodriguez announced his retirement from the game of baseball, which will go into effect this Friday. The Yankees will release him at that time.
Going forward, Rodriguez will join the Yankees as a special assistant and instructor.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Yankees informed Rodriguez a few days ago that they wanted to release him. After some discussions, the team agreed to play him as designated hitter on Friday at home against the Rays to finish out his career.
"Saying goodbye may be the hardest part of the job," Rodriguez told reporters. "But that's what I'm doing today."
"We all want to keep playing forever. But it doesn't work that way."
Rodriguez, 41, is one of baseball's most controversial figures.
He has always been surrounded in a cloud of possible steroid use.
Rodriguez allegedly tested positive for steroids in 2003 as a member of the Texas Rangers and was involved in the BALCO scandal. Though not suspended for that incident, Rodriguez's reputation as one of the league's best players was hurt.
Then, in 2013, Rodriguez was suspended 211 games (the end of the 2013 season and the entire 2014 season) for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal with Anthony Bosch. Rodriguez reportedly admitted to using the steroids in November 2014.
Performance-enhancing drugs aside, Rodriguez enjoyed one of the most celebrated careers in Major League Baseball history.
He is a career .295/.380/.550 hitter with 696 home runs (fourth all-time) and 2,084 RBI. Rodriguez has been worth 113 fWAR over the course of his career, which ranks 13th all-time.
Rodriguez was the first overall pick in the 1993 MLB Draft by the Seattle Mariners. Known as a baseball prodigy, Rodriguez was up in the Major Leagues the very next year, in 1994.
He ended up playing seven seasons in Seattle before signing a 10-year, $252 million contract with the Texas Rangers, still the third-largest deal in MLB history.
In 2003, after just a mere three years with Texas, the team decided they wanted to dump his contract and traded him to the Yankees, where he has been since.
Rodriguez went on to sign another huge contract, a ten-year, $275 million extension (now baseball's second-largest contract) with the Yankees. This deal does not expire until after next season, but since the Yankees will be releasing Rodriguez, they still owe him the rest of his money.
"To the other 29 clubs who want us to pay every penny, don't worry," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told Jayson Stark of ESPN. "We will be."
The decision to release Rodriguez came during a time when the Yankees appear to be gravitating towards a youth movement.
They traded Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller, Carlos Beltran and Ivan Nova at the trade deadline, getting them tons of prospects. They're ridding themselves of their large payroll and are doing something that they have rarely done in the past: look to the future.
Rodriguez does not fit the youth movement bill, and considering he was not producing in his current role, it made sense for the Yankees to decide to cut ties with him.
In 2016, Rodriguez is hitting just .204/.252/.356 with nine home runs and 29 RBI over 234 plate appearances. He's been worth -1.1 fWAR and has found himself on the bench more than in the starting lineup.
He'll likely fall short of 700 home runs, a milestone only ever done by three players: Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth.
"It's disappointing. It would have been a lot of fun to give it a crack," Rodriguez told FOX Sports. "I think I could have done it. But there's no shame in falling 18 home runs short of Babe Ruth."
It's hard to imagine Major League Baseball without Alex Rodriguez, as one of the league's most contentious players has decided to call it a career. Even if it wasn't completely on his own terms.