Alex Rodriguez returns to role as Yankees' special adviser

TAMPA, Fla. -- FormerNew York Yankees star and new ESPN Sunday Night Baseball analyst Alex Rodriguez was named a special adviser to his former team Sunday.

Rodriguez will join past Yankees Hideki Matsui, Reggie Jackson and Nick Swisher in advisory positions this spring. This is Swisher's first time holding the post. Rodriguez, who will directly report to general manager Brian Cashman, had a similar title last year.

"These are exciting times for the New York Yankees, and I do not take this opportunity for granted," Rodriguez said in a statement. "I am genuinely thankful for the trust the organization has placed in me, and I am looking forward to lending whatever support or expertise is needed of me. I continue to cherish The Pinstripes, the fans and my involvement with the Steinbrenner family, Brian Cashman, and his world-class staff."

It is unclear exactly when Rodriguez will arrive at Yankees spring training.

"He has a lot to offer," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "So hopefully with him being on board now, hopefully it's an opportunity for him to impact our team. Everyone understands how smart of a baseball mind he is, and his ability to communicate that sometimes is really something he's special at, especially with the younger guys, and we hope to benefit from that."

Jackson, who is in Florida for Yankees spring training, told reporters he thought Rodriguez's presence would be invaluable.

"Alex is a real student of the game. He's got the ability to manage. He's got those skills," Jackson said Sunday before the Yankees played the Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater, Florida. "I look forward to Alex spreading his knowledge around to our minor leagues, our big leagues.

"He's got gifts to give."

Rodriguez joined ESPN last month after spending the 2017 season as a full-time baseball analyst for Fox Sports. He comes to Sunday Night Baseball as a replacement for Boone, who previously worked in the same capacity before he was named the Yankees' manager in October.

A source said Rodriguez's advisory role won't conflict with his television duties.
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