Following a rocky 2016 season, it’s been announced the Seattle Mariners will be releasing longtime shortstop Alex Rodriguez after this Friday’s game versus the Oakland Athletics. The club also announced that Rodriguez will be appointed as a team advisor following Friday’s game and remain with the club for the remainder of this season and the 2017 season.
Rodriguez has been batting a career-low .166 this season and is in the second-to-last season of a 12-year $275 million contract. The Mariners announced that Rodriguez will be paid the remaining amount left on his contract following his release while in his role as a team advisor.
“Saying goodbye to the city I loved and promised I would never leave may be the hardest part of the job,” Alex Rodriguez said at a news conference Wednesday morning. “But that’s what I’m doing today to the people of Seattle.”
Rodriguez is just 4 home runs away from joining the 700-club with Bonds, Aaron and Ruth. Rodriguez is 19th in career hits, 3rd in RBIs, 8th in runs, and 25th in games played.
Prior to having been found out to use steroids, Rodriguez was regarded by some Seattle fans as the greatest ever to put on a Mariners uniform. However, after admitting in 2009 to using steroids from 2001-03 and being suspended by Major League Baseball for the entirety of the 2014 following another steroid controversy, Rodriguez’s star has fallen mightily.
Due to his commitment to the city of Seattle though, many Mariners will still stick up for Rodriguez even when faced with national opposition.
“He could’ve been greedy and left for teams like Texas or New York but he didn’t,” said Ross Geller, a 25-year Mariners season-ticket holder. “Everyone grows through trials and tribulations but to me, I’ll always remember him as the first guy to hug Griffey as he rounded the bases in the ’95 ALDS. He stuck with Seattle after that so I should still stick with him now.”