Posted on August 15, 2016 by Bryan Zarpentine
Amidst much speculation that Alex Rodriguez may sign with a major league team after being released by the New York Yankees on Saturday, specifically the Miami Marlins, A-Rod’s publicist issued a statement Monday indicating that the long-time Yankee is done playing baseball in 2016. The message coming from A-Rod’s publicist, Ron Berkowitz, of “it’s not happening” is in direct contrast to a statement made by former GM Jim Bowden earlier in the day that Rodriguez was preparing to sign with the Marlins.
“I want to put all this talk to rest about Alex playing for any team this season. It’s not happening,” Berkowitz said in the statement. “Like he said Friday night, he is happy and he is going to take some time to relax and hang with his family and friends.”
Late Sunday and into Monday there was talk of the Marlins having interest in signing Rodriguez in the wake of Giancarlo Stanton going down with a groin injury that is likely to keep him out for the remainder of the season. Bowden’s words on a radio show Monday morning made it seem as if A-Rod signing with the Marlins was virtually a done deal. “This thing’s going to happen, so prepare yourself,” Bowden said. “They’re going to put him at first base. They believe he can be an upgrade over Chris Johnson, who’s hitting a booming .227.”
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The fact that Rodriguez is a Miami native who lives in South Florida made it seem plausible that he would be open to signing with the Marlins. Despite the Marlins being a National League team that does not have use of the DH, the possible addition of Rodriguez would make some sense considering Miami’s lack of power with both Stanton and Justin Bour on the DL. Marlins president Mike Hill said Sunday that A-Rod is on a list of players the club would consider to help fill the void after Stanton’s injury, adding Monday that the team has not formally reached out to him.
Berkowitz did not say it directly, but the statement from Bowden earlier in the day may have been what prompted A-Rod’s camp to come out with a statement, making it publicly known that Rodriguez had no intention of signing with another team after being released by the Yankees on Saturday.
Of course, one thing Berkowitz did not address is whether or not Rodriguez may have interest in playing with a team in 2017. Before the season, Rodriguez said he would retire after the 2017 season when his contract with the Yankees expired. Any team could sign Rodriguez for 2017 at the league minimum, as the Yankees are still obligated to pay him the $20 million he’s owed next year. As of right now, the plan for A-Rod is to serve as a special advisor and instructor for the Yankees during the 2017 season.