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MLB

Yankees terminate record hitter Alex Rodriguez's contract

"This is a tough day. I love this game and I love this team," Rodriguez told a news conference after the announcement. He will continue as a coach.

Yankees terminate record hitter Alex Rodriguez's contract
Jim McIsaac AFP

The New York Yankees will release former MVP Alex Rodriguez from his 10-year, $275 million contract that runs through 2017 and he will play his final game with the team on Friday, the team said on Sunday.

696 home runs

Rodriguez, 41 and known as A-Rod, is having one of the worst years of his professional career, hitting nine home runs with a batting average of .204. He has 696 home runs in his Major League career, which began with the Seattle Mariners in 1994.

"This is a tough day. I love this game and I love this team," an emotional Rodriguez told a Yankee Stadium news conference. "Saying goodbye may be the hardest part of the job."

Doping suspension

Rodriguez has numbers that rank among the best in baseball history but has also seen his reputation tarnished by performance enhancing drugs. He missed the entire 2014 season due to a doping suspension.

He will be unconditionally released by the club from his player contract in order to sign a contract to serve as a special adviser and instructor with the Yankees through December 31, 2017, the Yankees said in a statement.

"It was the Yankees' decision"

When asked by a reporter what made him decide to step down nearly three months before the end of the season, Rodriguez said: "That was the Yankees' decision and I am at peace with it."