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A-Rod returned to baseball last year after serving a 162-game suspension for his involvement in baseball's Biogenesis scandal. He turned 40 during the season, but produced surprisingly good results with 33 home runs and 86 RBIs. He hit a home run on his birthday to become the fourth big-leaguer to homer in his teens and in his 40s. Rodriguez hit his 660 home run, tying Willie Mays, triggering a $6 million milestone bonus payment from the Yankees. The Yankees were expected to market the milestones when A-Rod signed his contract, but his PED admission detracted from the accomplishment. The Yankees, A-Rod and the Players Association reached an agreement where the team donated $3.5 million to charity and Rodriguez did not receive any income. He still has $24 million worth of bonuses for four more milestone home runs. A-Rod has been a marketing pariah after his PED issues, but Harman International added the three-time MVP to its endorsement roster in 2016 to pitch the company's JBL Audio brand. Rodriguez signed the two biggest contracts in baseball history, $252 million with the Texas Rangers in 2000 and $275 million with the New York Yankees in 2007 (Giancarlo has since surpassed those with a $325 million deal). A-Rod says he will retire after the 2017 season when his contract expires.
Runs Batted In: Drove in 135 runs in 2001, the 5th most ever for a shortstop and most since Banks in 1959 (143)...Only other shortstop with more rbi in a season was Vern Stephens, who accomplished the feat in 3 straight years with the Red Sox from 1948-1950 (see chart on page 161)...Previous club mark for shortstop was 99 by Elster in 1996...Was his 4th straight and 5th overall 100-rbi season...Drove in 6 runs twice, April 14 at Oakland and May 12 in Chicago...Had 13 rbi in 3 games, April 13-15 at Oakland, including 11 in final 2 contests to fall one shy of Rangers' 2-game record...Drove in 12 runs in 5 games, May 12-17...Tied for A.L. lead with 28 rbi in May and drove in 26 runs in August.
Home Runs: His 52 homers in 2001 were 5 more than previous club record and the most ever by a major league shortstop, surpassing Banks' mark of 47 in 1958...Were also the most ever for an infielder other than a 1st baseman, breaking Phillies 3B Mike Schmidt's record of 48 in 1980...Previous Senators/Rangers franchise record was 48 by Frank Howard in 1969 and previous club mark for a shortstop was 24 by Kevin Elster in 1996...Marked the 34th 50-homer season by 20 different players, the 17th in the A.L. and 1st since Griffey in 1998 (56)...Connected for his 50th homer on Sept. 28 at Anaheim at the age of 26 years, 64 days, the 6th youngest to ever reach that milestone...Became the 19th player with at least 4 40-homer seasons, the 9th to accomplish that in 4 or more consecutive years (1998-2001) (see charts on page 162)...Is one of just 3 shortstops in history to hit 40 homers in a season with Banks (5) and Rico Petrocelli (1)...Was his 5th 30-homer campaign, tying Banks for most ever by a shortstop...Ranks 3rd all-time among shortstops with 241 homers behind Cal Ripken (345) and Banks (277). (Source: www.mlb.com)
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 title, 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 at the time. 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 to accommodate their shortstop Derek Jeter. 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.
On February 15, 2004, the Rangers traded Rodriguez to the New York Yankees for second baseman Alfonso Soriano and a player to be named later (Joaquín Árias was sent to the Rangers on March 24). The Rangers also agreed to pay $67 million of the $179 million left on Rodriguez's contract. Rodriguez agreed to switch positions from shortstop to third base, paving the way for the trade, because the popular Derek Jeter was already entrenched at shortstop. This was only the second time in MLB history that a reigning MVP was traded, with the first coming in 1914 when Eddie Collins was traded to the Chicago White Sox from the Philadelphia Athletics for cash considerations.Two days prior to his scheduled promotion to the major league roster, Rodriguez sustained a new injury, as an MRI later revealed a Grade 1 quad strain, delaying his return and forcing him to continue rehabilitating in the minor leagues. Rodriguez independently sought a second opinion on his quad strain on July 24 with a doctor who stated that there did not appear to be an injury; the Yankees front office expressed further dismay, claiming that he violated league rules for seeking a second opinion without the team's permission. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)