The New York Yankees announced today they have signed third baseman Alex Rodriguez, three-time American League Most Valuable Player, to a 10-year contract.
Rodriguez, 32, established career-highs with 143 runs and 156 RBI in 2007 while hitting .314 (183-for-583) with 54 home runs and 24 stolen bases in 158 games with the Yankees. He became the first player in Major League history to record at least 140R, 50HR, 150RBI and 20SB in a single season, earning his second American League Most Valuable Player Award in four seasons with the Yankees, as well as Baseball America and The Sporting News "Player of the Year" honors.
In 2007, Rodriguez led the Majors in runs, home runs and RBI, joining Babe Ruth (1920-21, 1926), Ted Williams (1942) and Mickey Mantle (1956) as the only players to finish a season with the outright Major League lead in each of those three categories in a single season since RBI became an official statistic in 1920 (credit: Elias Sports Bureau). He also paced the A.L. in slugging percentage (.645) and total bases (376), ranked second with 85 extra-base, fourth with a .422 on-base percentage and tied for seventh with 95 walks.
The 11-time All-Star has hit 518 career home runs for sole possession of 17th place on baseball's all-time list. He has hit at least 50HR in three separate seasons (54 in 2007; 57 in 2002; 52 in 2001), becoming the fourth player in Major League history to have three or more seasons with 50 home runs (Babe Ruth, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa each did it four times). He is also one of only three players in Major League history, along with Willie Mays and Barry Bonds, to record at least 500 career home runs and 250 stolen bases.
Over his last four seasons -- all with the Yankees -- Rodriguez has led the club in runs (492), home runs (173), RBI (513), on-base percentage (.403), slugging percentage (.573) and games played (629). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the only player to hit more home runs for the Yankees over a four-season span was Babe Ruth, whose highest four-year total was 209 from 1927-30. Over the last 10 seasons (1998-2007), no Major Leaguer has hit more home runs, recorded more RBI or scored more runs than Rodriguez (454, 1,275, 1,241). He is also the only player in Major League history to reach 35HR, 100 runs and 100 RBI in 10 consecutive seasons (1998-2007).
His 54HR in 2007 established the Yankees franchise record for most homers by a right-handed batter and were the most homers by any Yankees player since Roger Maris hit 61 home runs in 1961. Rodriguez also established a Major League record with 52HR from the third-base position (two as DH), surpassing the mark of 48 shared by Mike Schmidt (1980 with Philadelphia) and Adrian Beltre (2004 with Los Angeles-NL).
His 156 RBI in 2007 was the second-highest single-season total by a right-handed hitter in Yankees franchise history behind only Joe DiMaggio's 167 in 1937 while his 143 runs scored was the highest single-season total in the A.L. since the Yankees' Rickey Henderson scored 146 runs in 1985 and the second-highest single-season total by a Yankee in the last 70 years (since 1938).
Rodriguez was the #1 overall selection by the Seattle Mariners in the 1993 First-Year Player Draft. He was acquired by the Yankees from the Texas Rangers on February 16, 2004, in exchange for Alfonso Soriano and a player to be named later (INF Joaquin Arias).