Don Mattingly says Marlins haven’t discussed A-Rod comeback
MIAMI (AP) — Don Mattingly says Miami Marlins officials haven’t discussed trying to coax Alex Rodriguez into a comeback, but he didn’t rule out the idea.
The Marlins manager was asked Saturday about the possibility of signing Rodriguez, who played his final game for the New York Yankees on Friday.
"We haven’t really talked about it," Mattingly said. "You’ve got to have a place to play. I know he hasn’t played in the field in a long time. I don’t know where he fits right now."
Rodriguez grew up in Miami and still lives in South Florida. He’s friendly with Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, who brought home run king Barry Bonds back to the majors this season as the Marlins’ hitting coach.
Mattingly was a Yankees coach in 2004-07 when Rodriguez played there.
"I always liked Alex," Mattingly said. "He was always one of those guys who played hard. He was never afraid of the field and always wanted to play every day."
The 41-year-old Rodriguez was unconditionally released Saturday by Yankees. He was batting .200 and said he’s unsure whether he’ll play again.
Mattingly acknowledged the Marlins might be in the market for help at first base. They’ve been without starter Justin Bour since July 2 because of an ankle injury as they bid for their first playoff berth in 13 years.
Rodriguez played shortstop and third base but has spent little time in the field since 2013.
"There’s no reason he couldn’t play first. He has the ability to do a lot of things," Mattingly said. "We miss Justin a little bit over there at first. I don’t think we’ve been able to replace that. We’re always looking at ways of getting better in different areas."
Rodriguez needs four more homers to become the fourth player to hit 700. His 2,086 RBIs are second to Hank Aaron’s 2,297 since RBIs became an official statistic.