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. Dodgers place Enrique Hernandez on disabled list with hamstring injury

    Aug 31, 2015, 10:00 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Kike Hernandez can't get to a ball hit for a single by Cincinnati Reds' Brayan Pena during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) AP

    Enrique Hernandez has begun to take away playing time from the struggling Joc Pederson in recent days, but now the Dodgers will have to make due without him for a while.

  2. Royals pick up Jonny Gomes from Braves

    Aug 31, 2015, 9:43 PM EDT

    Atlanta Braves outfielder Jonny Gomes, who was pitching in relief, tips his cap as New York Yankees' Chris Young rounds the bases after a solo home run in the ninth inning of a baseball game Friday, Aug. 28, 2015, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) AP

    Gomes, 34, is batting .221/.325/.364 with seven home runs and 22 RBI over 83 games this season.

  3. The Yankees intend to bring CC Sabathia back as a starting pitcher

    Aug 31, 2015, 8:45 PM EDT

    NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 23:  CC Sabathia #52 of the New York Yankees is taken out of the game in the third inning against the Cleveland Indians during their game at Yankee Stadium on August 23, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) Getty Images

    CC Sabathia was shut down earlier this month due to an arthritic condition in his right knee.

  4. Video: Kevin Kiermaier takes to the sky to rob Manny Machado of a home run

    Aug 31, 2015, 7:53 PM EDT

    kiermaier 1

    Kiermaier makes a leaping catch to rob Manny Machado of a home run.

  5. Cardinals skipping Carlos Martinez’s next start due to back issue

    Aug 31, 2015, 7:04 PM EDT

    SAN DIEGO, CA - AUGUST 22:  Carlos Martinez #18 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park August 22, 2015 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Marco Gonzales is expected to start in his place Tuesday.

  6. Report: Giants talking to Red Sox about trade for Alejandro De Aza

    Aug 31, 2015, 7:00 PM EDT

    BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 15:  Alejandro De Aza #31 of the Boston Red Sox rounds the bases on a home run in the third inning against the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park on August 15, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) Getty Images

    De Aza is batting .292 with 18 extra-base hits (including four home runs), 25 RBI, and an .831 OPS in 60 games since joining the Red Sox in June.

  7. Cubs acquire Austin Jackson from Mariners

    Aug 31, 2015, 6:21 PM EDT

    Seattle Mariners' Austin Jackson celebrates after scoring the go-ahead run on a single by Mike Zunino during the 12th inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox in Boston, Sunday, Aug. 16, 2015. The Mariners won 10-8. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) AP

    Jackson, an impending free agent, is batting .272/.312/.387 with eight home runs, 38 RBI, and 15 stolen bases over 107 games this season.

  8. Carlos Correa back in Astros’ lineup after missing four games with hamstring injury

    Aug 31, 2015, 6:05 PM EDT

    Houston Astros' Carlos Correa throws before a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Monday, June 8, 2015 in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty) AP

    The Astros will have their young phenom back at shortstop tonight against the Mariners.

  9. Mark Teixeira sent back to New York, will not play in Red Sox series

    Aug 31, 2015, 4:25 PM EDT

    Mark Teixeira Mark Teixeira

    He hasn’t played since last Wednesday and now will miss at least the next three games.

  10. The Mets won’t discuss Terry Collins’ status until after the season is over

    Aug 31, 2015, 4:00 PM EDT

    New York Mets manager Terry Collins, back, watches from the dugout in the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) AP

    He was on the hot seat back in June. What a difference a couple of months make.

  11. Wanna see “El Paso’s fastest wiener?”

    Aug 31, 2015, 3:10 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 3.09.51 PM

    Actually, the fastest wiener is boring. You want to see the wiener which runs free.

  12. Coaching third base in the AL East is no easy job

    Aug 31, 2015, 1:13 PM EDT

    Pesky's Pole AP

    And Buck Showalter is uniquely unimpressed with Fenway Parks dimensions.

  13. Unknown Cuban ballplayer sleeps outside of Dodger Stadium, hoping for a tryout

    Aug 31, 2015, 12:28 PM EDT

    dodger stadium getty Getty Images

    Thats one way to do it. Not a way likely to bring success, but certainly one way to do it.

  14. What’s wrong with Jeff Samardzija?

    Aug 31, 2015, 12:09 PM EDT

    samardzija getty Getty Images

    He’s struggling with free agency right around the corner.

  15. Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos accuses Steve Tolleson of quitting on his team

    Aug 31, 2015, 11:25 AM EDT

    Steve Tolleson AP

    The Blue Jays GM said “Steve Tolleson just decided he didn’t want to play anymore.” Tolleson takes strong issue with that.

  16. Mets won’t use Steven Matz as a reliever

    Aug 31, 2015, 10:21 AM EDT

    Steven Matz AP

    Terry Collins says it wouldn’t be fair.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. G. Stanton (2802)
  2. B. Crawford (2728)
  3. Y. Puig (2467)
  4. G. Springer (2408)
  5. C. Correa (2311)
  1. H. Ramirez (2280)
  2. H. Pence (2254)
  3. J. Hamilton (2206)
  4. J. Fernandez (2148)
  5. D. Wright (2130)