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A-Rod’s career is not over. Just stop it.

Jan 29, 2013, 5:06 PM EDT

Alex Rodriguez AP

David Schoenfield is one of my favorite baseball writers, but I saw this in his latest post and just can’t agree:

The more I think about the report out of Miami, the more I think we’ve seen the last of Alex Rodriguez in a major league uniform.

Schoenfield is not the only one to say this today. Several writers — many who should probably know better — have declared A-Rod’s career over today.  And I simply do not see how we get from here to there via any reasonable path.

As I noted earlier today, the Yankees are not going to void A-Rod’s deal. If they try it won’t work so they probably won’t even try. That leaves A-Rod with five years and $114 million left on his contract. He’s not walking away from that.

What might happen? He may get suspended for 50 games, after which he would come back.  He may — if the Yankees simply get totally disgusted and hysterical about things — get released.  In which case 29 teams can have Alex Rodriguez’s services for the league minimum. Back to Schoenfield:

When he was on the field last year for the 122 games he played in the regular season, Rodriguez was still reasonably productive, hitting .272/.353/.430.

That, I think, is the alpha and omega here. It’s not anywhere close to being worth his contract, but it’s quite useful from someone making almost no money. He’s not some monumental flake like Manny Ramirez. If healthy, he even has some defensive value. Someone would take a chance on him. The only factor would be the strength of his hip, not his status as a media pariah.

  1. stex52 - Jan 29, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    Sportswriters. Hysterical overstatements. You can’t have one without the other.

    • 1historian - Jan 30, 2013 at 7:41 AM

      Craig strikes me as one of those who is more susceptible to literary ‘vapors’ than the others.

  2. evan5 - Jan 29, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    “David Schoenfield is one of my favorite baseball writers…”

    And that’s where I stopped reading.

    • hojo20 - Jan 29, 2013 at 6:46 PM

      COuld’ve been worse, if he said Joe Posnanski was his favorite.

  3. chacochicken - Jan 29, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    Hips will always be his problem. Do whatever you want with that. I do have it on good authority, from a very reputable sports memorabilia dealer, that Arod’s hip trouble isn’t from peds, in fact, his mother is a pure-bred german shepherd.

    • Old Gator - Jan 29, 2013 at 10:19 PM

      No one – especially no spawrtsrighter – is going to describe A-Roid as having dysplasia. No one. They’d have to explain it several times, fail, default to a veterinary authority who has worked closely with the Borg. I am not aware of any veterinary authority who has worked closely with the Borg. Just the Atlanta Falcons, and that was years ago.

  4. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jan 29, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    His career can’t be over. Who will I boo excessively when the Yankees come to town? I guess every other player on the team….but it just wouldn’t be the same.

    • 18thstreet - Jan 29, 2013 at 8:41 PM

      It is impossible to boo a Yankee excessively.

      • 18thstreet - Jan 29, 2013 at 8:42 PM

        I once heckled Bob Novak (the political columnist) at a Maryland basketball game. It was great. Whenever the crowd cheered a Maryland basket, I yelled, “Novak, you’re a hack!” Cathartic.

  5. darthicarus - Jan 29, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    This is the internet, can we please leave logic/reason/sanity next to the keyboard & just continue to believe what we want.

    • Old Gator - Jan 29, 2013 at 10:20 PM

      I thought this was the internet. You make it sound like a church.

      • dprat - Jan 29, 2013 at 11:02 PM

        I enjoy many of your posts, OG. But for this one, a thousand thumbs up would not be sufficient.

  6. pinkfloydprism - Jan 29, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    Not by a contractual standpoint… but realistically… it just might be.

  7. pisano - Jan 29, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    “Arod’s career is not over”…. what harm is there in wishing it is?

  8. 13arod - Jan 29, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    arpd not taking drugs can’t see him taking drugs after he admited in 2009 story doesn’t make sense anybody could have put his name down and framed him

    • cur68 - Jan 30, 2013 at 2:36 AM

      Gawd. Coherent much?

  9. paperlions - Jan 29, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    Considering the alternatives currently available to them, I would take ARod as a backup SS option on the Cardinals….you know, assuming they could pick him up for cheap after he cleared waivers and that it meant the release of Cedeno.

    • geoknows - Jan 29, 2013 at 6:03 PM

      Yikes. He hasn’t played short regularly since 2003, when he was 27 years old, and only 8 innings since, none of them after 2005. Do you really think he can?

      • paperlions - Jan 29, 2013 at 8:56 PM

        Not well, but the upgrade on offense over those nearly automatic outs currently on the roster should more than compensate for the bad defense.

  10. xmatt0926x - Jan 29, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    Weren’t they already talking about him possibly being done anyway because of his injuries? I thought from the stories I was reading after the season that it was a longshot for him to come back and the Yankees might be off the hook because of the insurance.

  11. youknowwhatsgoodforshoulderpain - Jan 29, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    “The only factor would be the strength of his hip, not his status as a media pariah.”

    Well put. I think that’s the meat and potatos of most sports businesses anyway. Production/potential beats out public opinion 95% of the time.

  12. sabatimus - Jan 29, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    Yes it is.

  13. lionsplayoffs - Jan 29, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    I thought cheaters like A-Roid were supposed to be getting caught. Why was their testing not uncovering this crap?

    • raysfan1 - Jan 29, 2013 at 8:17 PM

      Testing can’t detect that for which testers don’t test. HGH testing only starts this year. Plus, HGH metabolizes extremely quickly, so catching anyone will be either very lucky timing or the result of a tip off (which is how the rugby player who tested positive a year or two ago got caught).

  14. jckid21 - Jan 29, 2013 at 8:52 PM

    Even if the Yankees find some clause or breach to get out of this contract the MLB Players Union will fight this to the bitter end. They will not go down without a lengthy legal fight on this one because if the Yankees were ever successful in voiding AROD’s contract that opens up Pandora’s box because keep in mind AROD never failed a PED test. Imagine the power a franchise could have if someone actually failed a test. The players union will never let that happen no matter what idiot player gets caught.

  15. 13arod - Jan 29, 2013 at 10:36 PM

    how does mlb not know that bosch could have put arod’s name on the list and maybe other’s bosch can’t be trusted and he needs to go to prision because i know that he is framing arod and maybe others trust me when you guys find out your wrong you are going to feel stuiped and i am going to be right and arod is going to come back and have a good half of a season

  16. superpriebe - Jan 29, 2013 at 10:49 PM

    You know, if the Yankees released him, I actually could see him being done. His strikes against:

    ** Possible 50-game suspension
    ** Poor health for quite some time
    ** Ensuing media circus
    ** Good, but not superlative hitter
    ** Not considered great around the clubhouse or with press
    ** Probably limited defensively

    No one wanted Barry Bonds at any price after his last season, when he hit 276/480/565. ARod isn’t hitting nearly that well and isn’t as healthy as Bonds was then. I don’t mean to say ARod SHOULD be done, but it wouldn’t be surprised if it happened. Precedent has been set.

  17. 13arod - Jan 30, 2013 at 7:13 AM

    you know that he is a good third basemen not going to be released and didn’t take drugs

  18. binarymath - Jan 30, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    If the Yankees do NOT release Arod, they may try to void the contract, wait for the legal battle, and hope for a settlement. He can then trade some fraction of the remaining contract for his freedom.

    If they DO release him, he is still more than viable at some salary level, and clubs will get imaginative with incentive-laden contract offers.

    The Phils just signed Yuniesky Betancourt to be a backup for their aging infield. I suspect GM Ruben Amaro (and Phillies’ fan base) would be much more “juiced” (sorry, couldn’t resist that…) about having Arod than YuBet on the roster.

    And I suspect a similar story for the Cardinals and MANY other teams in MLB.

    In fact, I would not rule out a release settlement that gave NYY some sort of “right of first refusal” where they could match or beat other offers. That would be quicker than a drawn-out court fight, gives the Yanks some immediate relief against luxury tax level, and the first refusal clause would let everyone bid for Arod, establishing a current market value for his services.

    If the other teams are able to bid for Arod, then they cannot be upset if his next contract is much less than what the Yanks would have owed under the old deal. And some team (like the Phils) might offer more than the Yanks.

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