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The “the Yankees want to void A-Rod’s contract” stories are nothing more than red meat for angry fans

Jan 29, 2013, 5:40 PM EDT

alex rodriguez getty Getty Images

The headline of this story from Andrew Marchand and Wallace Matthews is sexy: “Yankees want A-Rod’s contract voided.”  And this passage suggests a Yankees front office which is hellbent on doing so:

According to an industry source, the Yankees “are looking at about 20 different things,” including whether Rodriguez breached the contract by taking medical treatment from an outside doctor without the team’s authorization, and the possibility that he may have broken the law by purchasing controlled substances from a Miami “wellness clinic” run by nutritionist Anthony Bosch.

But read the whole article and you can tell that it’s a lost cause, and both Matthews and Marchand seem to know it too, as they note all of the obstacles to doing such a thing. Kudos to those two, actually, in that they are getting across what their sources are saying while not being unduly credulous.  Wish we saw more of that in the media.

Here’s the nut of it all, though:

Still, if Major League Baseball finds cause to discipline Rodriguez based on allegations made in a 5,400-word story published by The Miami New Times, the Yankees will try to find an escape hatch from their remaining five-year, $114 million obligation to the three-time American League MVP.

Know what happens if MLB finds cause to discipline A-Rod? He gets disciplined. Know what sets forth the discipline for a PED violation? The Joint Drug Agreement. Know what does not allow for voiding a contract for PED discipline? The Joint Drug Agreement.

Of course the Yankees want A-Rod’s contract voided. It’s a crappy contract.  They wanted Jason Giambi‘s voided too and didn’t try to do it after exhausting their options.  Or at least appearing to exhaust them.  Which is what I think this really is:  red meat for the angry fans. The Yankees way of showing them and the talk radio hosts that they’re upset too and, man, how bad that A-Rod guy is.

But they know they can’t void the deal. There are no grounds to do so and no mechanism to do so.  But as long as this makes someone feel better for a while I suppose it’s OK.


  1. Jeremy T - Jan 29, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    As much as I would love to see his salary off the books, it’s simply not gonna happen. I mean, really, I’m pretty sure that the most likely way for it to happen would be for someone to frame A-Rod for a few failed tests and get him banned for life. Now that would be a scandal.

  2. captainwisdom8888 - Jan 29, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    hahahaha i love seeing the yankees have to deal with this. They have bought so many rings. Buy your way outta this

    • Jeremy T - Jan 29, 2013 at 6:01 PM

      I’d argue that they bought playoff appearances way more than rings. Outside of 2009 and maybe the two in the 70’s, they haven’t won the WS with all that many free agents. I don’t really feel like rehashing this same argument again, though, so I’ll stop now.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 29, 2013 at 8:43 PM

        Outside of 2009

        Fielders – 3/9 FA
        Starting Pitching – 2/5 FA

        So 5/25 players were big name free agents (Sabathia, Burnett, Teixeira, Matsui and Damon). The rest were either acquired via trade or from the farm system. [note I include Arod in the trade category b/c that’s how he was acquired, and no one was going to come close to that absurd contract the Yanks gave him for round 2]

        Why do people still act like the Yanks never develop anyone and just buy 9/9 fielders and 5/5 starting pitchers?

      • captainwisdom8888 - Jan 29, 2013 at 10:31 PM

        Im with you man, no arguing from me. Just PURE JOY that steinbrenner is rolling in his grave like a dollar dog

        suck it ny

      • Jeremy T - Jan 30, 2013 at 10:40 AM

        Oh definitely, I’m of the opinion that it’s not even possible to buy a championship, and even if it was, the Yankees haven’t done it. I was willing to allow ’09 because they had just signed 3 huge contracts that offseason, and because I was arguing against “they have bought so many rings” as opposed to the tired old “they only win because of money” claim.

    • jolink653 - Jan 30, 2013 at 10:39 AM

      They built the late 90s dynasty on prospects and under-the-radar free agent pickups…How is that buying rings? And the other Yankees dynasty teams were built on prospects and trades before free agency even existed

  3. yousuxxors - Jan 29, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    they have really only bought one

  4. thebadguyswon - Jan 29, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    What a mess the Yankees are.

  5. Jeremy T - Jan 29, 2013 at 6:36 PM

    Hey, if they do give him a suspension, when does it start? He was going to miss the first half (at least) of the season regardless.

    • yankeepunk3000 - Jan 29, 2013 at 7:42 PM

      yes but with a 50 game band he won’t get paid. The Yankees would save about 8 million dollars this year, which is A-OK buy me and the fans

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 29, 2013 at 8:44 PM

      If he gets suspended, he’d serve it while he was on the DL so he’d miss zero time.

  6. DJ MC - Jan 29, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    I just have to say that Red Meat For Angry Fans would be an excellent title if Mike Lupica ever put out a collection of columns.

  7. randygnyc - Jan 29, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    Can it be voided under the premise that the Yankees entered into a contract in which Arod misrepresented himself (essentially defrauding the Yankees) with the intention of deceiving?

    • raysfan1 - Jan 29, 2013 at 7:57 PM

      Only if it can be proven (like a written statement) that they, the Yankees, were offer inning him his contract based upon his being PED-free and Rodriguez in turn asserting in those negotiations that he was. He and his agent (Boras at the time) would be idiots to sign such a statement. It’s pretty certain there’s no PED clause in the contract itself either, or the Yankees would not have to look for an out from the contract. Anything he said in his interview with Bob Costas or any other interview is not relevant to the contract.

      That said, I really think every professional athlete’s contract should include a PED clause, allowing recoup meant of signing and performance bonuses, and the option of voiding remaining years.

      • thedunnedeal24 - Jan 29, 2013 at 9:25 PM

        Giving a team the option to void anyone who fails a PED test would actually incentivize signing a suspected PED user. Under the current rule, a team must take it as part of the calculation of how a player might age/decline. But if a team knew there was a chance they’d have an out if a steroid user was falling off and got caught? That externalizes a lot of the risk on that end.

      • raysfan1 - Jan 29, 2013 at 9:53 PM

        Perhaps. It would also create a clear financial incentive for the player to not use them. I realize there is no perfect solution.

      • Jeremy T - Jan 30, 2013 at 10:58 AM

        I doubt the union would allow any clause like that, though

  8. autmorsautlibertas - Jan 29, 2013 at 9:48 PM

    You don’t have to void A-Rod’s contract to get rid of him. Bench the bum until he asks for his release. He cannot sit the bench for long. He is aging rapidly and his reliance on performance enhancing drugs indicates a self awareness of decllining power. At this point, 714, 755, and 762 might be out of his reach without a significant number of at-bats.

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