What is Next for Alex Rodriguez?

Aug 4, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees pinch hitter Alex Rodriguez (13) talks with New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia (52) in the dugout during the ninth inning against the New York Mets at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 4, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees pinch hitter Alex Rodriguez (13) talks with New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia (52) in the dugout during the ninth inning against the New York Mets at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

New York Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez announced that his playing career will end on August 12th. What is next for the controversial superstar?

After 22 years as one of Major League Baseball’s biggest stars, longtime New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez will play his last game Friday.

The Yankees have offered Rodriguez a position in the front office as a special adviser and instructor. He will reportedly stay in that role during the remainder of his current contract, which ends after 2017.

It’s unclear how involved he will be in the day-to-day workings of the Yankees at this point. While he would clearly be an asset in mentoring the next crop of young Yankees, Rodriguez has had a strained relationship with the team over the years, particularly General Manager Brian Cashman.

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This may very well just be a ceremonial position, and even if it isn’t, Rodriguez will need to decide what direction he wants to take his career now that his playing career has finished.

The last time Alex Rodriguez found himself with a considerable amount of time on his hands, during his season-long 2014 suspension, he joined the coaching staff of the Stanford baseball team.

Rodriguez’s passion for the game is well known, and it seems hard to believe that he wouldn’t want to be involved in it day-to-day in some capacity, whether with the Yankees or another club. Coaching seems like the obvious choice for a man with his depth of knowledge and enthusiasm for sharing it.

Back in spring training, Yankees manager Joe Girardi brought up the idea that Alex Rodriguez may have interest in taking over the helm of a big league team of his own when his playing days were done, telling Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News:

"I think Alex would probably prefer to manage if he was going to do anything, because I think he likes all the strategy in the game. He would be a great hitting coach, because he understands mechanics as well as anyone that’s played the game."

Of course, A-Rod quickly dismissed that idea, responding:

"I’ll be managing, but I’ll probably be managing my girls’ teams or volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club, but I won’t be managing. You can quote me on that."

Another option for Alex Rodriguez could be the broadcast booth. He drew rave reviews for his TV work for Fox Sports during their World Series coverage last year. For his part, Rodriguez also seemed to be having a good time, telling Neil Best of Newsday:

"I’m having a lot of fun . . . I do love the game. I try to articulate it in a way that the fans can understand it. What I try to do is bring the millions of fans that we have into the batter’s box with me, and it’s pretty fresh information.”"

President of production for Fox Sports John Entz added that what makes Alex Rodriguez so compelling as a broadcaster is that he is a true fan of the sport at heart:

"“There are a lot of guys who love to play the game but don’t actually love to go home and watch the game. He loves baseball whether he’s at the park or at home, wherever he is. And he loves to talk about baseball. That’s really what we’ve encouraged him to do."

It would certainly fun to hear A-Rod chat nightly with former Yankees David Cone and Paul O’Neill on YES. On the other hand, Rodriguez made it clear that he saw his broadcasting gig as a temporary position:

"It’s like a European vacation. You try to do it once every two years, right? Vacations are short and sweet, and then you come home and you go back to your regular day job."

Perhaps the primary concern for Alex Rodriguez in the immediate future is what his legacy in baseball will be. Looking purely at his production on the field, it is clear he was one of the greatest players who ever lived, but obviously things are more complicated than that.

John Harper of the New York Daily News likely spoke for the majority of baseball writers this spring when he declared Alex Rodriguez still not worthy of induction into the Hall of Fame, despite his partially rehabilitated image.

The recent experiences of all-time greats who were tainted by PEDs Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds supports Harper’s claim. If anything, Alex Rodriguez is more universally reviled than that pair, and he is the only one of the three to actually admit taking steroids.

Keeping a three-time MVP and 14 time All Star whose production is nearly unmatched in baseball history out the Hall of Fame is unfathomable. At some point this steroids madness needs to end, and hopefully Alex is the one who pushes his way through.

Next: Yankees Need to Find a Way to Dump Starlin Castro

Whatever he chooses to do, I hope Alex Rodriguez continues to hold a prominent place both with Major League Baseball and the New York Yankees. Love him or hate him, baseball is a much more interesting sport with him in it.