Alex Rodriguez is heading back to the diamond…
The 42-year-old Dominican-American former professional baseball player and New York Yankees star will join the ESPN team this season to work on Sunday Night Baseball telecasts.
A-Rod joins the broadcast team of Jessica Mendoza, Buster Olney and new play-by-play man Matt Vasgersian.
Rodriguez joined Fox Sports as a full-time MLB analyst in March 2017 after working as a guest for some telecasts — including the 2015 World Series. He’ll continue to work for Fox during the postseason. ESPN’s parent company, Disney, has agreed to acquire part of 21st Century Fox, including regional sports networks.
“I’m looking forward to this new chapter in my broadcasting career,” Rodriguez said in a statement. “It’s an exciting time in baseball and now I get that front row seat to tell that story every Sunday night on ESPN as well as calling my fourth post season on Fox where I started this journey.”
Rodriguez replaces analyst Aaron Boone, who was named manager of the New York Yankees this offseason.
Rodriguez last played in the majors in 2016, for the Yankees. He played 22 years in the big leagues, making 14 All-Star Games and winning the MVP three times. But his image took a hit when he admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs and was suspended for the entire 2014 season.
Rodriguez will also appear in and serve as executive producer of several ESPN specials, the network announced.
He has started to rebuild his image with his analysis of baseball on Fox broadcasts. He’s also remained in the spotlight because of his romance with Jennifer Lopez.
“I am incredibly excited to work with both Alex and Matt,” Mendoza said in the statement. “Matt has been a friend for a long time and someone whose work I’ve long admired. Alex’s achievements as a player speak for themselves, and I’ve been greatly impressed by the passion and dedication he has put into his broadcasting career. We’re going to have a lot of fun.”
Vasgersian is only the third voice of Sunday Night Baseball, following Jon Miller and Dan Shulman. The program is entering its 29th season.
“Jon and Dan set the bar super high for Sunday Night Baseball play-by-play, so it’s a real thrill for someone who still remembers his first minor league bus trip in 1991 to have a chair like this one,” Vasgersian said in the statement. “I know firsthand how passionate both Alex and Jessica are about baseball, and I can’t wait to get started with them.”