Breaking Down the Market for 41-Year-Old Alex Rodriguez

Jul 29, 2016; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez (13) works out prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 29, 2016; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez (13) works out prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

While it is difficult to find a team that would be a fit for 41-year-old Alex Rodriguez after he is released Friday, it may not be impossible.

Each of the last two times New York Yankees bench warmer Alex Rodriguez hit free agency he set a major league record for the biggest contract ever awarded to a player in the sport. That…seems unlikely to happen this time around.

Rodriguez will play his last game in the Bronx Friday August 12th. While he will stay on as a “special adviser and instructor,” he is basically just being released by the Yankees.

With the controversy over him not being benched against his will in his last few games, A-Rod may be even more motivated to hook on with another club and finish his career in baseball with a little dignity. 

More from Yankees News

It would have been a lot easier to find a new home for Rodriguez a year ago, when he was well on his way to 30 homers and was a fringe MVP candidate. Now, hitting .204/.252/.356 (59 wRC+) with zero defensive value at age 41, Rodriguez is a hard sell as a free agent.

Theoretically, a contending team with a complete void at designated hitter could bet on a rebound by Alex Rodriguez. It’s not really clear who that would be however, as most of the playoff-bound American League teams are set at DH.

The Rangers could have been a fit before adding Carlos Beltran at the deadline, although A-Rod’s first tenure in Texas didn’t go all that smoothly.

Kansas City has gotten miserable production out of their DH spot from Kendrys Morales, but they are safely out of the Wild Card race at this point. The same is probably true for the White Sox. 

More from Yanks Go Yard

There has been speculation that Al from Miami may want to end his career playing in his native Florida. Unfortunately, neither team seems to have much interest in that. Marc Tompkin from the Tampa Bay Times hears the Rays will not sign the 41-year-old despite their sub-par DH production.

Noted weirdo and Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria seems like the most likely MLB owner to want to target A-Rod. He continues to play Ichiro Suzuki much more than he should mainly because he is a famous person.

The same motivation seemed to be behind hiring Yankees legend Don Mattingly as Marlins manager and A-Rod’s friend Barry Bonds as hitting coach. Loria loves making headlines and is a huge Yankees fan. All the pieces seem to be in place for Alex to sign with his hometown team.’s Marlins beat reporter Joe Frisaro believes that the match is not as strong as it might seem, however.

Miami is in the thick of a playoff race and without a DH spot, really have no place to play A-Rod even if they wanted to. It’s possible they could use him as a pinch hitter/mentor the way the Rockies did elderly Jason Giambi a few years back. Still, there are probably better uses of a roster spot for them.

Buster Olney of ESPN (subscription required) recently threw out the Houston Astros and Minnesota Twins as two other possibilities as well. The Twins have some talented young guys who are struggling this year, and presumably A-Rod could be a potential player-coach for them down the stretch to get them right for next season.

Maybe more likely is Houston, where DH Evan Gattis has been one of the few weak links in the lineup. In this scenario, A-Rod would also presumably serve as tutor to the Astros’ promising young shortstops Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa.

Next: Yankees Need to Continue Housecleaning This Winter

One thing that Alex Rodriguez has going for him is that he basically doesn’t cost anything. Adding him to your team will almost certainly generate headlines and increase attendance, so it’s not unthinkable that he might find someone to give him a shot.

On the other hand, Barry Bonds was coming off a much stronger year than Alex when he was essentially blackballed from the game and forced into retirement after 2007, so it’s not difficult to envision the same thing happening to A-Rod.