NEW YORK • Alex Rodriguez said farewell on Sunday as the New York Yankees announced that the 14-time All-Star will play his final game with the Major League Baseball team on Friday.
The 41-year-old will then be released and has been offered a job in the club's front office as a special adviser and instructor.
Rodriguez, whose career was tainted by his use of performance-enhancing drugs, said his decision to accept the role was a difficult one. He did not rule out playing for another team.
A-Rod's release will cap a legendary but contentious career with the Yankees which saw him repeatedly embroiled in controversy since arriving in New York in 2004 from the Texas Rangers.
"This is a tough day," he said at a news conference on Sunday. "I love this game and I love this team. Today, I say goodbye to both.
"This is also a proud day. I was 18 when I broke into the big leagues. I never thought I could play for 22 years. I want to thank the Steinbrenner family (the owners of the Yankees) for giving me this opportunity and making me part of this team and giving me the opportunity to stay involved and mentor the next generation of Yankees."
The Yankees made him a designated hitter last season but he has slumped this season and started just one game since July 22.
He is in a four-for-36 batting slump and has struck out in five of his last six at-bats.
In March, Rodriguez said he planned to retire at the end of next season. On Sunday, he said he still feels he can play baseball.
"Sure, I think I can play baseball," he said. "You always think you have one more hit. No athlete ever ends his career the way you want to. We all want to keep playing forever."
The Yankees felt otherwise and decided to part ways with him as part of a roster overhaul.
"That was the Yankees' decision and I accept it," he said.
Rodriguez's career was marred by his admission in 2013 that he had used performance-enhancing drugs. He accepted a 162-game suspension from the league before returning last season.
He is four home runs shy of 700 for his career. He has two homers since June 3, leaving his career total at 696. He trails only Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714) on the career list.