TAMPA, Fla. — Alex Rodriguez looks at the lineup the Yankees will put out in 2018 and sees a behemoth.
“It has an opportunity to be record-breaking and put up numbers we have not seen in a really long time,” A-Rod said Monday night. “I can’t remember [seeing] this type of lineup 1-9 in a really long time.”
Rodriguez showed up at Yankees camp Monday, his first appearance in his role as a special adviser to general manager Brian Cashman. As the Yankees took batting practice before their night game against the Rays, A-Rod strolled up behind the batting cage wearing his familiar pinstriped uniform No. 13.
“I told Hal [Steinbrenner] I would love to spend [the] entire rest of my life as a Yankee. I love it here,” Rodriguez said. “I’m just happy to be back and happy to be back and see so much talent. It’s breathtaking.”
A-Rod again will work with Fox Sports this season but also signed on to be a part of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball package. Rodriguez, who will be a part of the broadcast team doing Friday’s game against the Red Sox, said being objective won’t be a problem.
“They [ESPN] pay me to tell the ‘what’ and the ‘why,’ ’’ he said, “and I plan on doing that objectively and fairly.”
As was the case last season, A-Rod has no defined responsibilities in his adviser role, though he said he sees one area in which he can assist.
“There’s always a place for helping players get adjusted to New York,” he said. “That’s one thing, no matter which generation you’re talking about, that is probably the most challenging thing I’ve ever had to do. Having players go from [smaller] markets to the No. 1 market in the world is something that’s very difficult, and the more support staff that we can have to help our players, the better.”