Jan
30

On voiding A-Rod’s contract

By
(REUTERS/Robert Galbraith)

(REUTERS/Robert Galbraith)

I suppose there’s something slightly poetic about discussing the possibility of the Yankees voiding Alex Rodriguez‘s contract. After all, it was a voided contract that helped bring Alex to the Bronx in the first place. Aaron Boone blew out his knee playing basketball — something that is strictly prohibited in standard MLB contracts — in January 2004, an injury that would cause him to miss the entire season. The Yankees voided his one-year contract and a few weeks later, A-Rod was in pinstripes.

Following yesterday’s South Florida-based performance-enchancing drug revelations, reports surfaced that the Yankees are “looking at about 20 different things” in hopes of finding a way out of five years and $114M left on A-Rod’s contract. They’re looking to see if he breached his contract by getting medical attention without the team’s permission, if he broke the law by purchasing controlled substances, all sorts of stuff. The team is desperate to get out of the noose they tied around their own necks, so of course they’re doing to try to weasel their way out of it.

Fans, of course, are out for blood. A-Rod has disgraced the pinstripes and he must pay! Void the contract without cause and deal with the lawsuits afterwards! Release him and eat the money! Pressure him into retiring! Do whatever it takes to get rid of him! Darren Rovell and Ken Rosenthal even had the genius idea of committing insurance fraud, which might possibly be more stupid than anything irrationally said by any Yankees fan. That’s really saying something.

In reality, this is what will happen: nothing. At least not immediately. There is no hard evidence A-Rod purchased, used, possessed, anythinged a banned substance from 2009-2012. There’s a report from a non-major, tabloid newspaper on par with amNY. That’s all. Nothing can happen until Major League Baseball completes its investigation and finds actual evidence, evidence that is solid enough to act on. That could take a few days, a week, a month, a year … who the hell knows. There’s also the possibility the league will find nothing. It’s not until the investigation is complete that this whole process can go forward.

(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

If MLB manages to find some real evidence, then the Yankees would have to figure out how to actually use it. The Joint Drug Agreement — a collectively bargained document that both Yankees ownership and A-Rod (via the players’ union) agreed to — says punishment is in the hands of the commissioner’s office and no one else. They might suspend him and he would probably be allowed to serve it while on the DL for his hip injury. There’s plenty of precedent for that. A-Rod would face the same penalties as Nelson Cruz and Melky Cabrera. He’s not special because he’s a Yankee and you don’t like him.

Unless there is language in A-Rod’s contract pertaining specifically to PED stuff — we have zero reason to believe there is — it’s going to be extremely difficult for the Yankees to shed themselves of that $114M. Maybe they could talk A-Rod into a Jason Bay-esque buyout just to get rid of him, but that won’t improve their financial situation. Alex has no reason to take any kind of discount from the team. Zero. Having banked over $300M in his career to date is irrelevant. The club is obligated to pay him that money and he won’t walk away from nine figures in an effort to repair an image that is already beyond repair.

Now, with all that said, of course the Yankees should try to find something that would allow them to cut ties with A-Rod. They should have been doing that long before yesterday’s reports were even published. We’ve known the contract was an albatross for years now, we didn’t need anything that happened yesterday to remind us. Yesterday’s report just made it seem slightly more possible, which might not even be the case. The team’s lawyers should be combing through every standard and silly little clause in that contract to find what amounts to a loophole.

If the Yankees do somehow defy the odds and manage to void even a portion of A-Rod’s contract down the line, it will be because they fought the union tooth and nail through ugly legal proceedings and won. Not because A-Rod will retire out of the kindness of his heart and certainly not because the union will throw one of its members under the bus. In that respect, trying to void the contract will be much more painful than just sitting around and waiting for the deal to expire in five years.

The court of public opinion needs no hard evidence. Yesterday’s report was more than enough to forever tarnish whatever was left of A-Rod’s legacy, regardless of its accuracy. Real life requires hard evidence though, especially when someone wants to void a nine-figure contract. We’re not even one step away from that potentially happening, we’re about thirty steps away.

Categories : Musings
  • JobaWockeeZ

    If the Yankees are actually looking to void this contract hours after the report then there’s more to it than just being a tabloid piece. The Yankees always look after their guys. If they want to void a contract then something really bad happened.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      That something being them signing a 32-year-old player to a historic ten-year contract.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

        Just to be clear, I’m saying the Yankees wouldn’t even be considering voiding the deal if Alex was still hitting like he did earlier in his career.

        • blake

          of course not

      • Robert

        Hal > Hank

        • LK

          Ironically enough, if Hank were still in charge, the A-Rod contract might not be an issue because the Yankees would be spending like drunken sailors and have a $400M payroll.

          • http://kikojones5.blogspot.com Kiko Jones

            Yup.

          • Havok9120

            Just before all the other partners abandoned ship.

            • LK

              Oh I’m not saying that Hank being charge would be GOOD, long term. But I think A-Rod would be gone before the ship sunk.

    • JLC 776

      You don’t get what you don’t ask for, so I’m sure this is a nice long-shot attempt to get out of the contract, but I’m sure this is just as much about PR. It simply makes sense to distance the organization from the latest PED scandal, and this is a nice way of doing that without directly doing that.

      • Darren

        Exactly. How would anyone know if the Yankees were looking at 20 different things unless Cashman, Levine, Trost, Hal or one of the lawyers leaked the information?

        The PR is worthless anyway. Like people are gonna sympathize with the Yankees more if we hear that the Yanks “want” to void it?

        You reap what you sow you dumb motherfuckers.

  • Kvothe

    If suspended, the team doesn’t have to pay him money during the suspension, right? Does it still count against the cap?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      I have no idea.

    • CountryClub

      Suspensions are unpaid. I have no idea if it still counts towards luxury tax calculations or not.

    • Jerkface

      Yankees physical payroll is reduced, luxury tax hit is not. Nothing in the CBA to suggest otherwise.

      • trr

        It’s not an easy topic to research, but as far as I can tell Jerkface is right. If anyone else has more info, please weigh in

  • http://pinstripepundits.com Derek

    The insurance fraud thing proposed by Rosenthal and others was so outrageous. It’s like they didn’t even think about the repercussions of any claim to the insurer while writing it.

    • Captain

      especially given the public statements by his doctor that the damage to his hip wasn’t as bad as expected and he should be able to recover.

      • http://pinstripepundits.com Derek

        Well, there are a few things. A-Rod’s deny deny deny stance certainly means he’s going to try to come back, to tack on to what you mentioned about the doctor’s opinion.

        Second, even if it were to get to such a point, no insurance company is simply going to say “Sure, we’ll pay the 75% remaining on the deal. No questions asked”.

        • MannyGeee

          “A-Rod’s deny deny deny stance certainly means he’s going to try to come back”

          Actually, I would say that has no bearing. Barry Bonds is CLEARLY not coming back, but he has never come clean (pun intended)…

          I would say his deny deny deny stance is him working hard towards saving face, which depending on who you ask is more important to him than all the baseballing in the world.

          • Ed in SF

            Barry Bonds doesn’t have over $100 million remaining on his contract.

            • Havok9120

              And ARod’s contract remains pretty much guaranteed, so what does he care? If money is the issue, PR doesn’t matter. He’s gonna get paid.

        • pounder

          They will if they see no other way to avoid a long contentious legal battle.

    • blake

      I have to believe Rosenthal meant that that was an option for Arod only if a real doctor advised him not to play anymore after trying to come back…..I don’t think he mean for Alex to find some shady MD online to deem him unable to perform.

      • http://pinstripepundits.com Derek

        I agree with what you’re saying – but I think Rosenthal’s mistake is not thinking about what the insurer would try to do even if a legitimate doctor said he couldn’t play any longer. I don’t think they’d simply pay up knowing all of the allegations, plus past admission.

        • blake

          oh they’d fight it tooth and nail for sure

    • Coolerking101

      Any chance of going the insurance route was blown up after they picked A-Rod’s doctor and he said the injury was not steroid related. Had they wanted a different diagnosis, I’m certain they could have found a reputable doctor to provide it. Regardless, even if they had found a doctor who would have backed them up, it’s not like it would be game over. The team would be in litigation over the issue for years. A-Rod and the MLBPA would NEVER back down from that fight. Way too much at stake.

      As Mike notes in his post, while we as fans want A-Rod out, the reality is, the only way that happens is if A-Rod chooses to retire.

      • blake

        yup….or if they can find somebody to trade him to or buy him out. Neither of those things will help the luxury tax situation significantly if at all.

      • Ed

        If anything, I think the doctor saying it’s not steroid related helps the insurance case. The doctor attributed the problems down to natural health problems. If insurance is going to cover anything, that’s going to be it.

        If the doctor blamed it on steroids, the insurance company would probably try to get out of it. I’d be shocked if the insurance didn’t have some sort of out for injuries caused by illegal activity.

  • Mr. Pappageorgio

    I’m one of those guys that always hated when A-Rod got boo’d at home. If this proves to be true – I’ll join the boo birds.

    A-Rod cannot possibly dumb enough to engage in more PED usage after all the mess he went through, turned everything around, won a championship… can he be that dumb? If so, he deserves whatever is coming.

    • JLC 776

      Seriously! I mean, this is baseball – he HAS a guaranteed contract. He didn’t have to use anything to keep his salary, yet here we (probably) are. I almost get it when guys are in their prime and trying to secure a life-changing long-term contract, but this is just confusing. I guess it comes down to pride or hubris or something like that.

      • CP

        I guess it comes down to pride or hubris or something like that

        Or perhaps wanting to help his team win.

        • Improbable Island’s Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR)

          In that case he would have left the team, since his contract is obviously bringing the team down.

          • trr

            ain’t that the truth – please, let’s not ascribe any altruistic motives to this individusl!

        • JLC 776

          I could be wrong, and I swear I’m not A-Rod bashing (I really have supported him all the way), but I’ve never seen him as the ‘do anything to help my team’ type. I know the media skews things, but he seems like the kissing-his-reflection, centaur-over-the-bed, abs-in-central-park narcissistic type and frankly that’s okay with me.

          • Captain

            except the reports that he’s taken Cano, Melky and others under his wing in the offseason to help them prepare and get better. or that time he talked to Boone Logan on the bench and Logan himself said it helped him relax and perform.

            the media skews things but he really has been a team first guy with the Yankees. can’t speak from his Mariners and Rangers days but the guy tries his best to contribute on and off the field to the Yankees.

            • JLC 776

              That’s all true; but I’m just giving you my perception.

            • Troll Hunter

              Yeah he helped Melky get a 50 game suspension.

          • TCMiller30

            And moved to 3rd base????

          • Bo Knows

            Or the fact he took Manny machado under his wing prior to the boy getting drafted. He’s also invited teammates to crashe with him if they dont have a place in NY yet due to being called up or tradeded to the team

          • http://kikojones5.blogspot.com Kiko Jones

            He’ll NEVER get props for moving to 3B, which meant giving up on being, arguably, the greatest SS in history. Of course, the likely motivation behind it was winning a championship, but still…

        • MannyGeee

          Or being good at his profession that may possibly be passing him by.

  • craff

    Finally, a well informed opinion on this whole thing!

  • mt

    You are entirely right that MLB must complete investigation and the key player actually is the federal government and not MLB. MLB has no subpoena power to actually try to force Bosch or the players to give up anything tangible.

    I am sure Arod will continue to deny until the absolute last moment. Remember that Braun escaped what seemed like certain evidence and that Clemens got off – the only thing in Yankee favor is that Arod gets no benefit of the doubt.

    The key point is timing – this investigation may take six months or so I would think Arod would get suspended after he (supposedly) gets back to field in July. It serves the Yankee interests in a strange sort of way for Arod to first come back to field and face the questions and the booing before this is resolved by MLB/feds- it may make Arod more likely to accept a settlement – with this news I can now see an 80% or so settlement – before this news, I thought there was no way Arod would not get 100% of his money. Also if he comes back to field first, the 50 days suspension would definitely not be served concurrently with his DL stint.

    Of course whether the other Yanks crash and burn in terms of won/loss record in the middle of this distracting freak show (the front office/ARod attorney power plays) is a whole other question.

  • Reggie C.

    Doesn’t change the fact that when Arod returns to the lineup in the second half (?), we should all be hoping for a productive and focused Arod to contribute to a ball club hopefully still in the playoff hunt.

    In so far as this new HGH supplier story, lets hope the team doesn’t have another player named.

    • Slappy McWaterbug

      I was thinking this too. There does seem to be a Yankee undercurrent running through this thing. Wasn’t A-Rod ‘mentoring’ Robbie at one point. I’m not trying to rabble-rouse, but I shudder to think about what other names could surface.

  • Barry’s Gift Basket

    Spot on Axisa, spot on.

  • Improbable Island’s Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR)

    I seriously don’t care about the PED usage at this point, but with that said I do hope they can find a way out of this contract mess just because the contract, you know, sucks.

    I’m not booing A-Rod, he’s on our team and I want him to perform well, PED use or not. Booing players from your own team is silly. Actually, I’m against booing period, but whatever.

    The only way A-Rod gets out of this one in “the court of public opinion” is if the findings are proven FALSE. It’s the difference between being declared “not guilty” and “innocent”. Not finding evidence that he did something won’t be enough. They need to find something that proves he can’t have done what they’re claiming he did. Personally I think that’s really unfair, but ‘dem’s the breaks.

    • http://kikojones5.blogspot.com Kiko Jones

      Indeed. Also…

      “Booing players from your own team is silly. Actually, I’m against booing period, but whatever.”

      Exactly.

  • Argenys

    I am currently reserving judgement until all the facts are out. But If it turns out to be true, I will remember A-Rod as someone who is dummer than Manny Ramirez than a cheater. I really hope this is a false allegation though, and if it is I hope it comes to light sooner than later. Every moment this story lives the more imposible it will be to undo. Like Mike said the dammage might already be done even if it’s not true. I just hope that by this time next week we will be looking back at this story and laughing, but maybe tears will be the outcome.

    • LK

      So A-Rod, who hasn’t failed a test, is dumber than Manny, who failed 2? If anything I think A-Rod looks rather smart if this report is true – he’s managed to continue using whatever he wants and outsmarted MLB’s drug police the whole time.

      • CBR

        I agree. This whole thing doesn’t sound right. Axisa’s write up of this is dead on. I’m waiting until all the facts come out. The story was dropped by some random Miami newspaper – it wasn’t the Herald or any other major publication. And I don’t understand how A-Rod’s supposedly been using PEDs since 2009 yet none of the drug tests since have caught it.

  • Adam

    Darren Rovell. What a complete tool.

  • LK

    A-Rod’s contract is not getting voided. If you want to be mad at someone about it, be mad at Hank Steinbrenner, but he’s not going away no matter how bad you want him to.

    • Coolerking101

      +1

  • JLC 776

    Great article. I think this is 90% about distancing the organization from scandal with a long-shot hope of bettering their position from a financial standpoint ala voiding The Contract.

  • Preston

    Worst case scenario is if MLB’s investigation takes so long that A-Rod is ready to come back by the time they get around to giving him the fifty games. He’s diminished as a player and comes with a lot of baggage, but he’s better than any other DH option we currently have on the roster.

  • Nuke Guy (Knoxvillain)

    Even if these reports are false it doesn’t matter. Everyone will still remember that A-Rod used up until 2012. I try really hard to like A-Rod but if the Yankees can void his contract then I would be all for it.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Perfect timing with my leaving to leave to a series of meetings. Hopefully I can return before someone gets the HIV.

    I’ll say this, though, and that’s that I disagree with two opinions you expressed on this, Mike:

    “of course they’re doing to try to weasel their way out of it.”

    I don’t consider it weaseling. We can question the judgment around the length and money of the contract, but it was signed in good faith. If the team were to feel that it was violated, they’d have every reason to explore voiding it. That’s not being a “weasel,” at least to me.

    “he won’t walk away from nine figures in an effort to repair an image that is already beyond repair.”

    Hundreds of millions on top of hundreds of millions means what, exactly? Will he ever even touch that? I believe in humanity more than that, and I believe in someone who actually came from somewhat humble beginnings more than that. I’d say there’s no amount of money that’d be worth the bullshit he’d endure for the rest of that contact.

    This is just my opinion as well, of course, and we all know what opinions are like.

    I agree voiding this will be an U-G-L-Y process. I also would be much happier, as fan, if this talk was all for naught.

    Don’t kill each other whle I’m gone.

    • LK

      I think it’s absolutely weaseling. There’s nothing in the contract that prohibits PEDs. The team is looking for a loophole because they don’t want to honor the commitment they’ve made. Just because they say publicly they think the contract was violated doesn’t mean they actually believe that – and it pretty clearly wasn’t violated.

      • thenamestsam

        Sort of agree with this. To me the key factor is that I highly doubt they would be looking to get out of the deal if he were still hitting. So they’re not trying to get out of the contract because they sincerely believe that A-Rod violated the good faith of the negotiations by lying about his PED usage. They’re trying to get out of the contract because they’ve realized they made a mistake when they signed it, and they think this might be their out. Feels like weaseling to me.

      • Havok9120

        I think you’re mostly correct, but I would argue the team certainly has a “good faith” argument about the marketing bonuses. The value of him breaking those records is severely compromised by PED usage and that would be true whether he was raking or limping into it. Trying to get those annulled is not “weaseling” by my definition.

        • LK

          Yeah if that’s all they try to get voided I’d agree they’ve got a case.

    • Long-Past-His-Day-Rod

      I agree with most of this post, however I wish I shared your faith in humanity.

      In my opinion at least, if the guy went before the fans and media and said he used PEDs in the past and stopped when in actuality he didn’t, then he’s not going to care about more damage to his image. He’ll find something to do with his extra millions.

      I hope the story isn’t true, but my gut reaction is that it is.

    • Captain

      I’d say there’s no amount of money that’d be worth the bullshit he’d endure for the rest of that contact.

      i think the bullshit is going to happen regardless of MLB’s investigation. the public opinion of Arod was pretty much cemented yesterday. Whether he wants to deal with the grief he’ll get from fans (home and away) and the media for the rest of his career is up to him but its not like if he accepts a buyout or retires, that’ll change what he’s going to deal with from now on.

      you nailed it yesterday but I’ll throw my hat in the ring for 12:20 when the thread takes a turn for the worse.

    • Steve

      It’s weaseling because they wouldn’t be doing it if he was putting up MVP numbers and it came out that he was doping. This isn’t some moral high ground. His production is slipping, his health is diminishing and this is just an out to cut bait.

      • Steve

        Also, because I know at least one person will point it out, obviously this is my opinion. I don’t know for sure that they Yankees wouldn’t try to void it anyway.

  • Improbable Island’s Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR)

    Also, while I’m at it, I don’t believe in distractions. Lack of effort yes, distractions no. the 77′ and 78′ Yankees had plenty of distractions and it worked out pretty great for them.

    If the Yankees have a disappointing season win/loss record wise A-Rod will immediately become the scapegoat. The irony, of course, is that a lot of people thought we’d have a disappointing season anyway, but if it really happens they’ll forget all about that. It’ll become, as always, A-Rod’s fault.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      This, this, and this.

      Really leaving now.

  • Long-Past-His-Day-Rod

    For all my grumblings and ire directed at Alex over the last couple of years, I have always rooted for the guy to do well. I was never among the people who booed him at Yankee Stadium.

    That being said, if these reports turn out to be true (my gut tells me they are, but I will wait for further proof), then I will boo him every single time he steps to the plate.

    • LK

      What, exactly, do you expect to achieve by booing him every single time he steps to the plate, other than making the experience of attending a Yankee game less pleasant for the rest of the fans?

      • Long-Past-His-Day-Rod

        The same thing you expected to acheive by posting this comment: absolutely nothing.

        I would merely be expressing my dislike for an individual player, something I am entitled to do as a fan.

        Also, I’m sure 100% of the rest of the fans attneding games are squarely in your camp of “leave poor A-Rod alone”…

        • LK

          If you expect to accomplish nothing, I have to wonder why you would choose to hurl negativity at a member of your team.

          The fact that many other fans feel as you do does not justify the behavior.

    • MannyGeee

      ” I have always rooted for the guy to do well”

      … says the guy with a name disparaging the guy he supposedly always roots for.

      • Long-Past-His-Day-Rod

        Me rooting for him to do well has no connection to the fact that he is, indeed, long past his prime. It’s a handle on an internet message board.

      • Long-Past-His-Day-Rod

        Also, if you were to review my posting history here (which is not very extensive as I mostly just lurk) you would find that I’m not someone who consistently bashes A-Rod and blames him for everything.

  • SamWalt

    I think Rosenthal might have read this post. He amended his column to explicitly state he wasn’t suggesting insurance fraud.

    • Gonzo

      I thought that was a leap as well. I don’t think Rovell was suggesting insurance fraud either, but I know he’s hated, so I will refrain from sticking up for the guy.

  • Manny’s BanWagon (formerly Andy Pettitte’s Fibula)

    Arod is like the girlfriend you caught cheating.

    Maybe you want to forgive the 1st time but if it happens again, don’t let the door hit you in your ass on the way out.

    • Jim Is Bored

      I wish they could dump A-Rod as easily as one might dump a girlfriend.

      • Gonzo

        A-Rod is like the super clingy type. The one that fakes pregnancy tests and knows all your passwords. Where’s Barry? He might be able to explain better.

        • Jim Is Bored

          I was almost going to say “I wish they could dump A-Rod as easily as Jeter switches girlfriends”.

          • Cris Pengiucci

            As long as he doesn’t leave HIV or another STD behind. And gives us a gift basket.

            • Manny’s BanWagon (formerly Andy Pettitte’s Fibula)

              Have “the HIV”

              you have to put in the “the”

              • Cris Pengiucci

                I’ll remember next time.

      • Slappy McWaterbug

        Anyone have a >$100mm gift basket laying around?

    • Preston

      I don’t think the two things are analogous at all. A-Rod and the Yankees don’t have an intimate relationship they have a financial relationship. I don’t think anything he could do within that relationship would be analogous to cheating.

      • Preston

        I mean maybe if he was purposely throwing games by botching plays in the field or something. But this is more like your girl-friend who has a drinking problem falls of the wagon.

      • Manny’s BanWagon (formerly Andy Pettitte’s Fibula)

        I’d rather have my girlfriend cheat than fuck me out of $114 million dollars though.

        • TCMiller30

          Even if you had billions, and would be making hundred of millions more?

          • Manny’s BanWagon (formerly Andy Pettitte’s Fibula)

            I don’t know, that’s a tough question. $114 million is a lot of money for anyone. Maybe if you send a tweet to Mark Cuban and he’ll respond.

  • http://twitter.com/cemiami Carlos Echevarria

    “There is no hard evidence A-Rod purchased, used, possessed, anythinged a banned substance from 2009-2012. There’s a report from a non-major, tabloid newspaper on par with amNY.”

    As a third generation Yankee fan and Miami native, I can tell you, first hand that when it comes to hard news, the Miami New Times is a rag, at best.

    They have a despicable habit (see Art Teele) of throwing out scurrilous and malicious “news” stories, without foundation or true evidence.

    Overall, I also, concur with you, as per our general relationship with A-Rod prior to this brouhaha, but in this specific matter most, especially the Yankee hating, Red Sox loving baseball analysts over at ESPN, are truly jumping the gun.

    • jim p

      Still, reading summaries on the NY papers of the New Times article, they quote detailed papers and documentation, account books and the like.

      It ain’t like they just have some verbal assurance to point to, and nothing else. So either they or their informer went to the trouble of forging documents, or the documents are real.

      As to A-Rod’s denial, I note that it specifically talks about seeing and being treated by Bosch, but doesn’t mention the institution itself.

    • Mandy Stankiewicz

      Last night on Sportscenter the highlight was “Arod and steroids,” not Gio, Melky etc…

  • Josh

    Well written Mike. This whole expose seems very shady. Perhaps I am naive, but I just can’t imagine all these athletes going to a place that would just willingly give up their names without the threat of a warrant or legal action. BALCO went down because of a long Federal investigation. Then again Brian McMamane (sic?) wasn’t too reliable either, so maybe I am just being an Arod apologist.

  • dasani

    Lets take up a collection, or maybe a pay-off Arods contract benefit concert.

    • Preston

      Save your money, I know a multi-billion dollar corporation that will pay it all, no concert necessary. We don’t even have to ask them to do it, they are already contractually obligated.

  • thenamestsam

    Well said Mike. Reports that the Yankees are “looking at about 20 different things” to get out of his contract are no different than the constant reports during the offseason that the Yankees have “had internal discussions about Player X”. Of course they’re discussing things and looking at options. That’s their job. It’s what they get paid to do. Just because something is mentioned in a meeting, discussed and looked at doesn’t mean that it’s a serious option or close to happening.

    There’s no way they’re getting out from under the contract, and there’s no way A-Rod is walking away from it. The contract is still so big that I just can’t see how they could find a buyout that would be acceptable to both sides. If there was one year and $20M left, then maybe. But with $115M still out there I just can’t see A-Rod leaving much of that on the table.

  • Slappy McWaterbug

    If this is true, and he rehabs from this surgery and rejoins the team, can you imagine the hostility he’s going to be greeted with at YS3? I sincerely don’t know how you can put that guy back on the team. The fans will be ruthless, and I don’t know how a guy that seemed to be somewhat disliked in the clubhouse already will be able to show his face there now.

    His baseball life, if he resumes it, will totally suck from here on out (and it’s totally deserved).

    • Captain

      again, since when has Arod been disliked in the Yankees clubhouse? has there ever been a report suggesting that? this report might lead to that but there has been nothing to imply that he is an outcast in the clubhouse.

    • Havok9120

      You mean that couple of reports from over half a decade ago that said ARod and Jeter didn’t get along? Because other than that, I have no idea what you’re talking about with Alex not being liked in the clubhouse.

  • Eddard: Back and better than never

    Worst contract in sports history. The Yankees need to do everything possible to void the contract. If they can’t void it then buy it out. A-Rod has worn out his welcome. He lied, came clean and then lied again. He’s a locker room cancer. When the Giants had a steroid player in Melky Cabrera they said GTFO even when he was eligible to return and the Giants did just fine. We’ll be just fine without A-Rod.

    • SammySosasBleachingCream

      Have you ever been in the Yankees locker room? If so, I’d love to hear some stories.

  • Austin Aunelowitzky

    “a 30 step process starts with the first step”
    Paraphrasing Confucius

  • http://www.g6tec.com Jedile

    If we can cut ties with a-rod, I say we go hard after Chase Headley!

    • blake

      they should be doing that anyway if it’s possible

    • Cris Pengiucci

      The Padres might have something to say about that. Going after him and getting him at a non-prohibitive cost are 2 different things.

  • blake

    Daniel Barbarisi ?@DanBarbarisi
    As the ever-excellent @bradfo first noted, Yanks in talks with Travis Hafner. Hafner is believed to want more than just a minor league deal.

    probably the answer to the “who is gonna DH vs RHP” question

  • Gonzo

    Can we concoct a plot to get Tony Reagins back as the GM for the Angels? A-Rod for Vernon Wells!

  • Preston

    I’m sad that this thread killed the prospects thread. It’s much more fun to talk up young kids whose futures are ahead of them than bash on a once was great.

  • Austin Aunelowitzky

    If I were Alex I would retire (take a $20 million buyout or so), move to a villa in the South of France, buy a European Basketball or Soccer team, and shag supermodels until the cows come home. But that’s me.

    • Gonzo

      He can do all that after he retires at 42 with the full amount he’s owed.

      • Austin Aunelowitzky

        Sure, but how much grief will he endure from fans, haters, the press, etc…my point is really the “get away from it all” part of it and I mean now.

        • mt

          He already takes a lot of grief so not sure what makes him walk away now – only way i can see it is if extarordinary things happen – Yank fans start booing him more heavily – people do that SWAT thing to his house (those fake 911 calls to celebrity houses), his children get more harassed at schooll (i believe Miami??) – and even then not sure he walks away from $114 million.

          I am not advocating any of that (booing may be OK but I need to think about that more) but what shame would ever make Arod walk away from all that money?

          • Austin Aunelowitzky

            Don’t forget the injury, the hard rehab, the overall decline in his skills, embracing mediocrity as a player..factor all that in too and if you already have what he has in the Bank, and you can get IDK $25-$40 million to walk away, might be worth considering.

  • blake

    I like the Hafner move if they get him….he gets on base and has always hit RHP really well when he can play…which isn’t often but worth a shot

  • PP

    Thanks Hank! Five more years to go.

  • http://www,riveraveblues.com GT Yankee

    Appears the Yankees got “Pronk”. Health is a big issue, but if he stays healthy 20+ HR’s is certainly possible.

    • Pat D

      That, unfortunately, is a big “if.” I’d love to see it happen.

      • http://www,riveraveblues.com GT Yankee

        Too true….but me too :)

      • RetroRob

        20+ HRs is possible even if he missed a third of the season!

    • WhittakerWalt

      That huge wang of his might be bad for morale in the locker room, though.

  • stuart a

    accurate overview.. of course if possible the Yanks should try to void his deal, if that is possible i do not know.

    arod’s reputation is ruined forever. he as others have stated is a fool and a reckless fool at that.. did he kill someone? no but how he has behaved is plain old foolish, he threw his reputation down the toilet for all time.

    he if back will underperform and be a media disaster for the team for 5 LOOOOOOONG years. all because the fat crew cut steiiny was a fool and went against cashmans wishes about 5 years ago….

  • mt

    One scenario that is that these players all were clients of Bosch and did get banned substances but that a disgruntled employee actually took some records and memory of transactions and fabricated this particular document hoping the press would investigate – that is why the non-baseball players on the list supposedly checked out in terms of fact-checking (a disgruntled wmployee could have copied records for the non-baseball players but baseball players stuff may have been locked away and unavailable). Since all the baseball players did not respond to attempts at fact checking, who knows – maybe the document is wrong but close enough – I just cannot believe this guy was so stupid to write all this down.

    So it may be a case where feds find out that the Miami News document is fraudulent BUT when they subpoena actual clinic records they find these players (or their surrogates) did actually buy – in any case, players would be found guilty.

    Only way Arod gets off is if when Bosch bragged about his relationship with Arod he may have embellished it verbally to make employees think Arod was a purchasing client. Then a disgruntled employee may have then taken those (inaccurate) statements and forged this document. If some employee did that, I still would say it would be a less impressive hoax than the Manti Teo catfish hoax.

    After all of that speculation, in the end, I tend to believe Arod did take PEDs after 2009 (going to see known HGH doctor Galea after denying it to Yanks shows how reckless he has been since his steroid admission so using PEDS after 2009 would not be any more of a surprise.)

    • Josh

      I agree, at least with the first part. This just sounds too fishy, and I will not be too surprised if it is a fabrication.

  • craig

    If Alex did this, why wouldn’t the Yankees decide to fight the MLBPA tooth and nail to get the contract voided? they would have the fans backing them 100%.

    It would be very difficult for MLB and the MLBPA to defend the contract and Alex. this would be a losing battle for Alex at a time when he won’t want or need anymore negative press.

    I think they could actually win if they went all out for it. It makes a lot of sense. The man cheated (if he did) to get the contract. I would think that has little legal standing once you get enough lawyers pounding away at it and the Yankees have a lot of $$$ to benefit from getting it voided.

    • Captain

      uhh you know the MLBPA is one of the strongest unions in this country right? and you know that the fans have no say in a legal dispute between the Yankees and MLBPA. and that the Yankees presented a contract to Arod which most likely had no wording in it about PED use so getting out of said legally binding contract would be very expensive and difficult?

  • jim p

    Alex wants fame, not infamy.

    He will not be forgiven by the fans of New York, and he will not appear on a field or a batter’s box for the rest of his life, in any ballpark, without hearing “A-Roid” and “A-Fraud.”

    The idea that if he becomes an awesome player, Yankee fans will forgive him might be true, but… he was pumped up, if the story is true, all through his decline since 2010. So he ain’t likely to get awesome ever again.

    Even if he has spans of brilliance, who is not going to assume he is still juicing? Who will forget that he lied to us since 2009?

    My bet is that his recovery will be reported as going poorly, and with setbacks, and finally, the Yanks will work out a deal with him which sees him walk, and for some fraction of his contract.

  • jim p

    The right approach, if the Yanks want to get rid of the contract, is to have the Steinbrenners declared non compos mentis at the time they signed it. Heck, pretty obvious they were just on the face of it.

  • Brian in MA (formerly NH)

    There is no way out of this. They can’t void his contract.. maybe the next CBA this will be brought up, where teams can void contracts of players who are caught/admit to using PEDs. Maybe just buy them out at a reduced rate. I can’t imagine the union letting that fly, since it becomes so easy to fire a player, and that player will now be poison to all other teams….or they could resign him at a lower rate.

    Not every team would automatically void the contracts though. If a guy like Bryce Harper or Strausburg or Trout got caught, they are young enough where the team would just keep them and hope the production remains mostly high

  • ken

    can’t void the contract, people probley said the same thing to curt flood.

  • 1999

    Wait a second…ATHLETES ARE USING PERFORMANCE-ENHANCING DRUGS?!?!?! I’M OURAGED!

    • Mike HC

      haha

  • Rizi Walnuts

    Mommy always said: ‘Flowers make the difference when breaking-up with girls.’

    I think every Yankee fan worldwide should send flowers to his home saying ‘Thanks for a great career. I’m sure your life after baseball will be filled with good fortune!’

    • MannyGeee

      Tell your mom that I’m sorry I forgot to send flowers.

  • endlessjose

    What about A-Rod lying to MLB back in 2009 that he didn’t know anything else.HE told MLB he took PEDS 2001-2003 and MLB left it like that.So now if it’s true he knew this clinic and there’s paperwork on he’s purchasing PEDS than he lied to MLB during an investigation.

    There’s no way A-Rod doesn’t get punished somehow and continues as a Yankees.

    • LK

      MLB wasn’t investigating A-Rod in 2009. His name got leaked from the 2003 tests that were supposed to be sealed, and he chose to make an admission. He could easily have simply denied using a la David Ortiz. Whether or not he lied during an interview he chose to give is completely irrelevant to how he is punished for this.

  • Troll Hunter

    I would love for the Yanks to find a way to rid them selves of A-Roid, I just don’t see it happening. I can’t believe we will have to put up with five more years of B.S. drama from this guy.

  • SMK

    “There’s a report from a non-major, tabloid newspaper on par with amNY.”

    To be fair, Mike, that article seems well-sourced and thoroughly investigated.

    It offers a very complete character study of Anthony Bosch. The deeper they went into his background, the clearer his pattern of behavior emerged: exploit every situation and every person you can, then leave them with nothing and set up shop under a new name. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

    The paper trail that he left behind really is damning. It’s page after incriminating page that shows Alex was cycling, big-time.

    To simply dismiss their work because they’re an unknown publication seems a bit heavy-handed. They may not be The London Times, but after reading that article there is no doubt in my mind that it is a solid piece of journalism.

    • Jim Is Bored

      “It’s page after incriminating page that shows Alex was cycling, big-time. ”

      I’ve read it, and that’s just not true, unless you’re interpreting their work in a MUCH different light than I am.

    • Captain

      and wasn’t the paper trail sourced by the informant who was a former employee of Bosch who had some issue with him?

    • RetroRob

      At no point did he say their reporting was wrong.

      He simply stated the obvious.

  • endlessjose

    LK:

    MLB would have investigated A-Rod further if they thought A-Rod knew more back than.They just talked to him for a few questions because they thought he didn’t know anything and wasn’t dealing with anymore shady people.

    We now know A-Rod was taking banned substances and was still involved with his cousin Yuri Sucart at this clinic.He might not have right out lied but he didn’t want to tell MLB everything he was doing and knew.

    • LK

      Yeah, I still don’t think what you’re saying will have any bearing on this whatsoever.

  • Freddy’s Mom

    I gotta change my handle. Anyway, I hope to the gods the Yankees brass has learned their lesson. I didn’t see any mention of this above but only learned just today from the Times story (I’m not as rabid a follower as many of you, so, sorry if this is common knowledge) that we coulda had Miggy if we hadn’t bought the farm! Wow, that really sobers you when you think about the last coupla few postseasons.

    • Captain

      yea Miggy is totally better on the field and off….wait whats that, he’s a wife beater and a drunk? but no PEDs right?

  • Elmgrovegnome

    I would be happy if they just cut him. And settle it later. He never felt like a hYankee to me.

    • SammySosasBleachingCream

      After 9 years on the team? You’re rough.

  • RetroRob

    I have to say, I’ve been pretty stunned by the media’s collective lack of, ummm, intelligence on this issue.

    It was one thing when Harold Reynolds suggested A-Rod would never play again because “insurance” would give the Yankees a way out of his contract (this was even prior to PED rumor), but when national beat reporters are suggesting the same (no matter how hard they try to deny it when called on it), it’s just stupid. Sure, the Yankees are going to commit insurance fraud. Respected doctors are going to commit insurance fraud. And, oh yeah, A-Rod is going to just go along with it for the heck it all.

    Idiots.

    Baseball season please start.

  • bkight13

    At the time of the signing ARod was clean and on pace to break Bonds’ HR record. Hank and others desperately wanted a “clean” Yankee to bring the record back to Yankee Stadium and win one more for George. They overlooked or denied the possibility that ARod was juicing. The 2009 admission took everyone by surprise, but if they wanted out of the contract that was the time to do it. But he was still performing and was a major factor in getting #27.

    The options seem to be: ARod playing out his contract after rehabbing the injury, releasing him and eating the contract or the remote possibility of ARod retiring due to the injury. I don’t see any way this benefits the Yankees on the field or dealing with the $189M threshold.

  • smack

    If they can’t figure out a way to get out of the contract, or if he won’t agree to some reasonable buy out, they should just explain to ARod that he will never step foot on the diamond as a yankee again. That, though he doesn’t seem overly concerned about his ‘image’, he’ll never hit a meaningful homerun again. That he’ll never collect another RBI. That he’ll never field another ground ball or even suit up for a game. I would hope that might make him a bit more willing to negotiate.