A-Rod walked back his retirement talk last night

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Yesterday Alex Rodriguez was pretty clear in speaking to ESPN New York that he wanted to retire following the 2017 season. His words: “I won’t play after next year. I’ve really enjoyed my time. For me, it is time for me to go home and be Dad.”

In a text to the Daily News last night, however, he walked it back a bit, saying “I’m thinking in terms of my contract which ends in 2017. After that, we’ll see what happens. I’ve got two years and more than 300 games to play.”

His publicist likewise kept the door open, speaking to USA Today:

“Nothing is ever official until you officially retire,’’ Berkowitz told USA TODAY Sports. “He has two years left on his current deal and plans to play it out, and then the contract will be done.’’

If he performs well, is it possible he would keep playing past 2017?

“He could,’’ Berkowitz said, “yes.’’

It all comes down to how he plays and how healthy he is, I presume. If he has a good 2016 and 2017 and if he’s within striking distance of Barry Bonds’ home run record, someone will probably give him a one-year deal for low dough. Probably the Yankees, actually, unless they have some killer DH option. If he doesn’t have two good years or if being 42-years-old affects his body like it affects almost everyone else’s, he’ll be done like he told ESPN.

Pretty simple. Or at least as simple as things can be when A-Rod is involved. If I had to bet I’d say it’s, I don’t know, an 80% shot that he’s done when his contract is up.Maybe 90%. 2015 was nice for him. The odds of him having two more seasons more or less like 2015 simply are not great.

I’ve come to like watching A-Rod, however, so I’m hoping to be wrong about that.