A day after Alex Rodriguez played his final game for the New York Yankees, the team called up top prospect Aaron Judge, who will make his major league debut on Saturday afternoon against the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Yankees officially released Rodriguez on Saturday afternoon, ending his 12 years in pinstripes and perhaps his big league career after 22 seasons.
Judge, who Yankees GM Brian Cashman said will be the team’s everyday right fielder going forward, will hit eighth.
Prospect Tyler Austin was also called up from Triple-A and will make his MLB debut. Austin will hit seventh and play first base.
Judge, 24, was hitting .270 with 19 home runs and 65 RBIs in 93 games for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The 6-7 slugger is ranked 23rd overall in Keith Law’s midseason MLB prospect rankings.
Austin was hitting .323 with 13 homers and 49 RBIs in 56 games for the RailRiders.
Releasing Rodriguez leaves the Yankees responsible for $27,103,825 remaining in his $275 million, 10-year contract. He is owed $7,103,825 of his $20 million salary for the final 65 days of this season and $20 million next year.
The 41-year-old designated hitter went 1-for-4 with an RBI double in his finale Friday night, a 6-3 win over Tampa Bay. He hit .200 with nine homers and 31 RBI. He has 696 home runs, fourth on the career list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).
Rodriguez’s career batting average is at .295. A 14-time All-Star and three-time AL MVP, A-Rod has 3,115 hits and his 2,086 RBI are second to Aaron’s 2,297 since RBI became an official statistic. He was suspended for the 2014 season for violations of baseball’s drug agreement and labor contract.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.