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Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez (born July 27, 1975), nicknamed "A-Rod", is an American former professional baseball shortstop and third baseman. He played 22 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, and New York Yankees. Rodriguez began his professional career as one of the sport's most highly touted prospects and is considered one of the greatest baseball players of all time. Rodriguez amassed a .295 batting average, over 600 home runs (696), over 2,000 runs batted in (RBI), over 2,000 runs scored, over 3,000 hits, and over 300 stolen bases, the only player in MLB history to achieve all of those feats. He is a 14-time All-Star and won three American League (AL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) Awards, ten Silver Slugger Awards, and two Gold Glove Awards. Rodríguez is the career record holder for grand slams with 25. He signed two of the most lucrative sports contracts in history, but his career was highly controversial. He incurred criticism from the media for his use of performance-enhancing drugs.
The Mariners selected Rodriguez first overall in the 1993 MLB draft, and he debuted in the major leagues the following year at the age of 18. In 1996, he became the Mariners' starting shortstop, won the major league batting championship, and finished second in voting for the AL MVP Award. His combination of power, speed, and defense made him a cornerstone of the franchise, but he left the team via free agency after the 2000 season to join the Rangers. The 10-year, $252 million contract he signed was the richest in baseball history. He played at a high level in his three years with Texas, highlighted by his first AL MVP Award win in 2003, but the team failed to make the playoffs during his tenure. Prior to the 2004 season, Rodriguez was traded to the Yankees, for whom he converted to a third baseman, because Derek Jeter was already the Yankees' full-time shortstop. During Rodriguez's career with the Yankees, he was named AL MVP in 2005 and 2007. After opting out of his contract following the 2007 season, Rodriguez signed a new 10-year, $275 million deal with the Yankees, extending his record for the sport's most lucrative contract. He became the youngest player ever to hit 500 home runs, reaching the milestone in 2007. He was part of the Yankees' 2009 World Series championship over the Philadelphia Phillies, which was the first year of the new Yankee Stadium and Rodriguez's only world title. Toward the end of his career, Rodriguez was hampered by hip and knee injuries, which caused him to become exclusively a designated hitter. He played his final game in professional baseball on August 12, 2016.
During a 2007 interview with Katie Couric on 60 Minutes, Rodriguez denied using performance-enhancing drugs. In February 2009, Rodriguez admitted to using steroids, saying he used them from 2001 to 2003 when playing for Rangers due to "an enormous amount of pressure" to perform. While recovering from a hip injury in 2013, Rodriguez made headlines by feuding with team management over his rehabilitation and for having allegedly obtained performance-enhancing drugs as part of the Biogenesis baseball scandal. In August 2013, MLB suspended him 211 games for his involvement in the scandal, but he was allowed to play while appealing the punishment. Had the original suspension been upheld, it would have been the longest non-lifetime suspension in Major League Baseball history. After an arbitration hearing, the suspension was reduced to 162 games, which kept him off the field for the entire 2014 season.
After retiring as a player, Rodriguez became a media personality, serving as a broadcaster for Fox Sports 1, a cast member of Shark Tank and a member of the ABC News network. In January 2018, ESPN announced that Rodriguez would be joining the broadcast team of Sunday Night Baseball In January 2017, CNBC announced Rodriguez would be the host of the show Back In The Game, where he would help former athletes make a comeback in their personal lives; the first episode debuted on the network in March 2018.
Last Updated: March 10, 2019