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A-Rod returning to Yanks as a special advisor

MLB.com @BryanHoch

TAMPA, Fla. -- Alex Rodriguez earned plaudits during his career for his ability to mentor and teach younger players, and the three-time American League Most Valuable Player Award winner has now officially returned to the Yankees as a special advisor.

Rodriguez, 42, will work alongside fellow former Bombers Reggie Jackson, Hideki Matsui and Nick Swisher in his new role, which was announced on Sunday. Swisher is also a new addition to the advisory staff, which is under the purview of general manager Brian Cashman.

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TAMPA, Fla. -- Alex Rodriguez earned plaudits during his career for his ability to mentor and teach younger players, and the three-time American League Most Valuable Player Award winner has now officially returned to the Yankees as a special advisor.

Rodriguez, 42, will work alongside fellow former Bombers Reggie Jackson, Hideki Matsui and Nick Swisher in his new role, which was announced on Sunday. Swisher is also a new addition to the advisory staff, which is under the purview of general manager Brian Cashman.

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"These are exciting times for the New York Yankees, and I do not take this opportunity for granted," Rodriguez said. "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."

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Rodriguez served in a similar role following his release in August 2016, reporting directly to managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner through the final day of '17. Last February, Rodriguez treated a large group of prospects to a steakhouse dinner in Tampa, Fla., where no question was out of bounds.

"There's a lot of places he can help," Jackson said. "Alex is a real student of the game. I think he's got the ability to manage; he's got those skills. It's a good place for him to learn. When Brian invites you back, it's not for practice. I look forward to Alex spreading his knowledge around throughout our Minor Leagues, the big leagues. He knows the game."

The 14-time All-Star will be in uniform at a yet-to-be-determined date during Spring Training. He will stay busy during the season with his on-air work as a television analyst, having signed on to be part of ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball team.

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"I continue to cherish the pinstripes, the fans and my involvement with the Steinbrenner family, Brian Cashman and his world-class staff," Rodriguez said.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone, who preceded Rodriguez in ESPN's broadcast booth, said he spoke with Rodriguez about three weeks ago in New York.

"I think he has a lot to offer," Boone said. "Hopefully with him being on board now, it's an opportunity to impact our team. I think everyone understands just 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. We hope to benefit from that. I'm glad he's on board."

Rodriguez and Boone are linked by their history in New York. Three months after hitting one of the most memorable home runs in Yankees postseason history, Boone sustained a season-ending left knee injury while playing basketball. The injury prompted the Yankees to acquire Rodriguez from the Rangers in February 2004, installing him as their third baseman.

"I would say the relationship he and I have had over the years has been more topical, just kind of in passing, 'Hey, how's it going? What's going on? Good to see you,'" Boone said. "Real short conversations, generally speaking. We haven't [gone] too deep into stuff. But now, hopefully, we will have some of those conversations over the course of the season."

Drafted No. 1 overall by the Mariners in 1993, Rodriguez batted .295/.380/.550 over the course of his 22-year career in the Majors. His 696 career home runs are the fourth most in Major League history. He was suspended for the entire 2014 season, following an MLB investigation involving performance-enhancing drug use.

"Alex is back here because of his baseball content," Jackson said. "No matter what you say, it's 3,000 hits, 2,000 runs scored, 2,000 RBIs. Four homers from 700. That's a lot of stuff."

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

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