Skip to content

People continue to assume A-Rod is going to simply walk away from $114 million

Jan 31, 2013, 11:03 AM EDT

Alex Rodriguez Getty Getty Images

More for the “Oh, won’t that nasty old A-Rod just go away, please” file. This from the Daily News. Let’s do this in call and response form:

Alex Rodriguez is unlikely to ever wear the pinstripes again, sources familiar with the Yankees’ situation with their troubled third baseman told the Daily News …

Unless someone from the Yankees says “we’re going to release A-Rod” there is no support for this whatsoever.

“I don’t know why he would want to go through the pain of rehabbing and trying to play up to the caliber of player he was, and come back to a game where nobody wants him,” said a baseball official.

I can think of 114 million reasons. Plus the fact that his entire identity is tied up in being a professional athlete and most professional athletes don’t make sober assessments about when their careers are over. They have their careers forcibly taken from them, often hanging on too long and requiring that teams release them.

Even before the latest steroid allegations surfaced, Yankee officials had already privately begun preparing for the likelihood that Rodriguez would never finish out the mega-deal he signed in 2007.

Yet publicly they all said that his rehab would be six months and that, while it could be longer, it was unlikely. And his doctor said that his hip was less damaged than anticipated. Indeed, no one said A-Rod was finished in New York until about ten minutes after the Miami New Times story broke the other day.

Meanwhile, the Rodriguez scenarios include: (1) A-Rod being forced to retire because of the injury, enabling the Yankees to collect 85% of the insurance on the contract, which would leave him with a paid-up deal that comes off the Yankee books and subsequently lessens their luxury-tax burden.

See yesterday’s commentary about the likelihood of the Yankees being able to collect on an insurance claim for A-Rod.  In any event, even if his hip ended his ability to play baseball — which no one other than columnists have suggested — he would not retire. He’d sit on the DL for five years, just like Albert Belle did, collecting his money. Also: an insurance scenario would not give the Yankees luxury tax relief.

(2) Rodriguez completes the rehab but continues to play in a diminished role, is unhappy with his level of play and decides to voluntarily retire. In that case, the Yankees would engage him in settlement talks.

Again, there is zero incentive for A-Rod to voluntarily retire. If the Yankees don’t want him, they can cut him and he can go play elsewhere while still collecting all the money he’s owed. If no other team signs him, he gets $114 million from the Yankees for sitting on the beach and doing nothing.  There is no reason in the world why he should or would engage the Yankees in “settlement talks.” Unless the writers of this column can come up with one, their suggestion is nonsense.

If Rodriguez is found to have been involved, he could face a 50-game suspension by MLB, or worse: If he was not truthful when baseball officials interviewed him several times over the past years about his involvement with steroids and human growth hormone, commissioner Bud Selig would have the power under the collectively bargained drug agreement to increase the suspension.

The commissioner’s power comes from a paragraph in the joint drug agreement that says anything not covered under the listed penalties can be covered by the discretion of the commissioner.

I have read the Joint Drug Agreement up and down, backwards and forwards, and I cannot find a clause that says this.  If I missed it, someone point it out to me.  If there is something in there to this effect, someone is going to have to tell me how A-Rod’s alleged acts — taking banned PEDs — is “not covered under the listed penalties.”  Like I said earlier today, A-Rod is a player like any other. Just because he makes a lot of money and is hated does not make him eligible for greater discipline than anyone else.

All of this is wishcasting by Yankees sources. Or, more likely, Yankees sources attempting to communicate to A-Rod through the media, telling him that he is unwelcome and hoping he decides to do the highly irrational thing of walking away from $114 million.

Unless and until someone from the Yankees, anonymously or otherwise, suggests that they are going to simply release A-Rod outright, there is every reason to think that he will play for them again.  He will do his rehab and get himself in a position to play if he is able, if for no other reason, than to force the Yankees to play him or release him.  In no event does it make any sense whatsoever for him to retire or to enter into negotiations with the Yankees for a buyout.

We get it, Yankees. You don’t want to pay A-Rod the silly contract you gave him.  But no matter how much you beef about it now, you’re gonna end up paying the guy.

Latest Posts
  1. “They Don’t Know Henry”

    Apr 17, 2014, 8:23 AM EDT

    Image (1) Hank%20Aaron%20AP.jpg for post 4132

    Everyone wants to tell Henry Aaron who he is and what he stands for. But as a great new song tells us, They Don’t Know Henry.

  2. And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

    Apr 17, 2014, 6:06 AM EDT

    Julio Teheran Getty Images

    Lots of shutouts yesterday. Including one that was the Platonic Ideal of a baseball game. At least if you have taste and stuff.

  3. Kirk Gibson, Kevin Towers given votes of confidence

    Apr 16, 2014, 11:32 PM EDT

    diamondbacks logo

    The Diamondbacks lost another game to the Mets on Wednesday afternoon and are now 4-14 on the season with by far the worst run differential (-48) in the major leagues. But the manager and GM are not on the hot seat … yet.

  4. Giants release Dontrelle Willis from AAA Fresno

    Apr 16, 2014, 10:25 PM EDT

    dontrelle willis getty Getty Images

    Dontrelle Willis signed a minor league contract with the Giants in January and was officially added to the roster at Triple-A Fresno on April 12. But the veteran left-hander didn’t even last a week there.

  5. VIDEO: George Springer’s first major league hit

    Apr 16, 2014, 9:39 PM EDT

    george springer getty Getty Images

    Astros outfield prospect George Springer grounded out sharply to shortstop in his first major league at-bat on Wednesday night. In his second trip to the plate, he made it to first base …

  6. Kole Calhoun out 4-6 weeks with ligament sprain in ankle

    Apr 16, 2014, 8:54 PM EDT

    kole calhoun getty Getty Images

    Josh Hamilton is likely to be sidelined through most of May with a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb and now beat writer Jeff Fletcher at the Orange County Register reports that Kole Calhoun will miss the next 4-6 weeks with what Angels manager Mike Scioscia called a “bad ligament sprain” in his right ankle.

  7. Taijuan Walker diagnosed with shoulder impingement

    Apr 16, 2014, 8:01 PM EDT

    taijuan walker mariners getty Getty Images

    Mariners right-hander Taijuan Walker had to be scratched from what was supposed to be his final minor league rehab start Tuesday at Triple-A Tacoma and he headed to Seattle on Wednesday for tests. The MRI results are in.

  8. Craig Kimbrel throws, says his shoulder feels “great”

    Apr 16, 2014, 7:13 PM EDT

    craig kimbrel getty Getty Images

    Braves closer Craig Kimbrel was unavailable to pitch on Monday because of soreness in his right shoulder. But it’s apparently only a minor issue and he expects to be fine going forward.

  9. Bryce Harper scratched Wednesday with quad tightness

    Apr 16, 2014, 6:35 PM EDT

    harper getty Getty Images

    From James Wagner of the Washington Post comes word that Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper has been scratched from the club’s starting lineup on Wednesday night against the Marlins because of tightness in his left quadriceps muscle.

  10. Dustin Pedroia returns to Red Sox starting lineup

    Apr 16, 2014, 6:11 PM EDT

    pedroia getty Getty Images

    Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is back in the starting lineup for Wednesday’s game against the White Sox after getting a cortisone shot Monday for the inflammation in his left wrist.

  11. George Springer to hit second in his major league debut

    Apr 16, 2014, 5:04 PM EDT

    George Springer Getty Images

    The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

  12. Joe Kelly leaves start with hamstring injury

    Apr 16, 2014, 4:16 PM EDT

    Joe Kelly Getty Getty Images

    Cardinals right-hander Joe Kelly left today’s start against the Brewers after tweaking his hamstring trying to beat out an infield single in the sixth inning.

  13. Masahiro Tanaka dominates the Cubs

    Apr 16, 2014, 3:59 PM EDT

    Masahiro Tanaka AP

    That’s 28 strikeouts in his first three big league starts.

  14. Johnny Cueto dominates the Pirates

    Apr 16, 2014, 3:34 PM EDT

    Johnny Cueto AP

    Cueto set a career high for strikeouts as he tossed his third career shutout

  15. Jose Tabata leaves game with concussion-like symptoms

    Apr 16, 2014, 2:44 PM EDT

    Florida Marlins v Pittsburgh Pirates Getty Images

    Pirates outfielder Jose Tabata just made a great catch to rob Brayan Pena of an extra-base hit, but unfortunately he slammed into an unpadded portion of the wall in Cincinnati and had to leave the game.

  16. Teams have less money to spend on international signings than ever

    Apr 16, 2014, 2:33 PM EDT

    stack of money

    You can spend all you want on a 30 year-old free agent, but be careful how much you spend on an 16-year-old prospect.

  17. HBT Daily: Darvish vs. Hernandez — a great rivalry enters year three

    Apr 16, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

    HBT Daily Logo

    The two most dominant pitchers in the AL face off tonight. Given their ages, their contract status and their presence in the same division, expect this to grow into a wonderful rivalry over the coming years.

  18. The Dodgers have four outfielders. A fifth is raking at Triple-A

    Apr 16, 2014, 1:33 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 1.28.46 PM Getty Images

    The Dodgers have an embarrassment of outfield riches.

Featured video

Jackie Robinson Day is bittersweet
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. T. Wood (5105)
  2. S. Kazmir (4791)
  3. J. Kubel (4638)
  4. K. Uehara (4074)
  5. I. Nova (3995)
  1. G. Springer (3139)
  2. T. Walker (3063)
  3. M. Moore (2963)
  4. M. Machado (2892)
  5. J. Chavez (2842)