A-Rod’s Suspension: Now What?

A-Rod's lawyer confirms they are "requesting federal court intervention" today
2014 Payroll Breakdown: Part Five
(Rich Schultz/Getty)
(Rich Schultz/Getty)

We were waiting months for Saturday’s announcement. Alex Rodriguez was officially suspended for the entire 2014 season after arbitrator Fredric Horowitz upheld MLB’s original 211-game ban but reduced the terms to a mere 162 games. A-Rod has also been suspended for the postseason, should the Yankees qualify. He’s out of the year, officially.

Even though we all kinda knew Alex was going to be suspended when it was all said and done, we really didn’t know how long he would sidelined. Fifty games? A hundred? The full season? Now we know it will be the entire year and, more importantly, now the Yankees know. They finally have payroll and roster clarity and can move forward with the rest of the offseason. Let’s break down how A-Rod’s suspension impacts the team.

40-Man Roster Implications
This is easiest, so let’s get it out of the way first. Rodriguez will be on the restricted list during the suspension, meaning he does not count against the 40-man roster even though he is technically still on it. It’s similar to the 60-day DL. That now open 40-man spot will go to Brian Roberts once his one-year contract is made official, which Joel Sherman says has happened. The team hasn’t announced anything yet though.

Can He Play Elsewhere?
Not without the Yankees’ permission. A-Rod is still under contract with the Yankees and they’d have to give him the okay to play in an independent league or overseas. (Korea and Japan honor MLB suspensions, so they aren’t an option anyway.) There is no reason for the Yankees to give him permission to play elsewhere either. They still owe him a boatload of money and don’t want some independent league coach or trainer working with him. The team has to protect its investment, basically.

Payroll Implications
Even though he has been suspended for the full year, A-Rod will still count as $3,155,737.70 against the luxury tax according to Sherman. His actual take home salary will be a little south of that (roughly $2.9M) since his 2014 salary ($25M) is lower than his contract’s luxury tax hit ($27.5M). Rodriguez was suspended 162 games but the regular season actually runs 183 days, so, in essence, the team is still financially responsible for their off-days.

Even with A-Rod almost completely off the books, the Yankees are right up against the $189M luxury tax threshold. I don’t see how they can get under without going cheap in the rotation and bullpen while shedding some salary (Brett Gardner?). They did come into about $22M of extra “real money” thanks to the suspension, money that figures to go to the pitching staff. Masahiro Tanaka is the obvious target but that money could lead to more bullpen help as well. Heck, maybe they’ll add someone like Ubaldo Jimenez even if they do sign Tanaka. That’d be neat. Don’t think it’ll happen though. Point is, the suspension saves the Yankees a bunch of cash, both real dollars and dollars against the luxury tax.

Injunction Junction, Some More Dysfunction
Last week we heard Alex could take the case to a federal judge and seek an injuction if his camp felt the ruling was too harsh, something he reiterated in his statement on Saturday:

I have been clear that I did not use performance enhancing substances as alleged in the notice of discipline, or violate the Basic Agreement or the Joint Drug Agreement in any manner, and in order to prove it I will take this fight to federal court. I am confident that when a Federal Judge reviews the entirety of the record, the hearsay testimony of a criminal whose own records demonstrate that he dealt drugs to minors, and the lack of credible evidence put forth by MLB, that the judge will find that the panel blatantly disregarded the law and facts, and will overturn the suspension. No player should have to go through what I have been dealing with, and I am exhausting all options to ensure not only that I get justice, but that players’ contracts and rights are protected through the next round of bargaining, and that the MLB investigation and arbitration process cannot be used against others in the future the way it is currently being used to unjustly punish me.

This morning, A-Rod’s lawyer Joe Tacopina confirmed they will file the suit seeking the injunction today.

There are a shocking number of lawyers writing about baseball these days (including Ben) and from what they’ve all said, A-Rod’s camp is going to have a very difficult time getting a federal judge to look at this case. They tend to steer clear of collectively bargained matters unless there is gross misconduct or something like that. Rodriguez will have to show Horowitz was essentially working with MLB, as Wendy Thurm explained a few weeks ago.

The only thing I know for sure at this point is that if the case goes to federal court and a judge issues an injunction against the suspension, A-Rod will be allowed to play, just as he was allowed to play during his appeal late last year. It is a very unlikely outcome but not completely impossible.

Spring Training
Rodriguez confirmed through spokesman Ron Berkowitz that he plans to attend Spring Training in a few weeks, which is his right. The Joint Drug Agreement says suspended players are allowed to participate in camp and even play exhibition games. The Yankees and MLB are going to get together sometime soon to figure out a way to prevent this from happening, according to Andrew Marchand. I don’t know how likely that is; the Collective Bargaining Agreement and JDA are pretty airtight. If they keep him out against the rules, Rodriguez could file a grievance, which would add legitimacy to his whole “MLB and the Yankees are conspiring to get me out of the game” allegation.

(Gregory Shamus/Getty)
(Gregory Shamus/Getty)

If push comes to shove and A-Rod reports to Spring Training next month, Marchand says the Yankees can simply assign him to minor league camp in an effort to minimize the circus and keep him away from the big leaguers. The could even go as far as instructing their coaches to ignore him — to not hit him grounders during infield practice or throw him batting practice. They could also keep him out of Grapefruit League games by arguing he will not play this year and they need the games for the players on the roster to prepare. One thing I do know about Alex is that he truly loves playing baseball and Spring Training gives him a chance to get on the field. I’m curious to see how this how situation plays out in the coming weeks.

Why Don’t They Just Release Him?
I don’t think A-Rod will ever play another game. Not in the big leagues and certainly not for the Yankees. That’s just my opinion. I think the team will cut ties with him at some point, likely next winter after his suspension is over. It’ll be a Barry Bonds situation — plenty of teams will need help at third base in 2015 but no one will bother to give him a chance because his production isn’t worth the distraction. Remember, Bonds was way better during his final year (157 wRC+) than A-Rod was last year (113 wRC+).

So, if that is the case, why don’t the Yankees simply release Rodriguez now? They would still reap the payroll benefits of his suspension and they wouldn’t have to deal with the potential Spring Training headache. I suppose there are several answers to this question but the easiest is that A-Rod could still do something in 2014 that gives the team a way out of all or part of the remainder of his contract. Maybe he tears an ACL playing basketball like Aaron Boone, allowing the team to void his contract. Maybe he fails a drug test and gets another suspension. Maybe he gets hurt during a workout and the team can recoup some salary through insurance. All sorts of stuff can happen between now and next year that helps the Yankees.

Eating $61M — Rodriguez’s total salary from 2015-17 — is a tough pill to swallow but it’s tough to see an alternative at this point. He will be almost 40 years old when his suspension is over and he will have missed nearly two full years. Coming back from that might be damn near impossible. Plus the team obviously wants nothing to do with him. They’d like him to just go away. It’s not my money, but it seems inevitable that the Yankees will release A-Rod, eat the remainder of his contract, and walk away from the distraction at some point. I’ll be surprised if he ever plays another game, especially in pinstripes.

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A-Rod's lawyer confirms they are "requesting federal court intervention" today
2014 Payroll Breakdown: Part Five
  • TopChuckie

    Do the Yanks let him play in an independent league to stay in shape and see how he performs just in case they do let him come back next year, while also increasing the chances he injures himself and they can recoup the insurance money? Or do they refuse to let him play just to spite him, while claiming it’s just to protect their investment?

    • Tim

      I believe he can play in independent leagues without permission while suspended. But obviously an injury would potentially allow NYY to void his contract. And while he loves baseball, I think he, as most people would, loves $61 million more.

    • Dan

      I’ve heard he’s barred from playing independent ball while under contract. If I were the Yankees I’d give him permission contingent on him not attending spring training. That feels like a reasonable compromise.

      • BamBamMusings

        His contract would likely stipulate that he cannot play ANY sports outside of baseball.

        Does anyone recall if the Yanks got insurance for all of Aaron Boone’s contract or was it voided when he got injured playing basketball in the offseason?

        • The Great Gonzo

          Boone was null and void, IIRC

        • Darren

          It wasa voided. Cashman expressed some sympathy for Boone, but it was voided, because Boone was not permitted to play basketball.

          • BamBamMusings

            I’de imagine if Arod were to go play baseball somewhere his contract too would be voided. That seems too easy!

    • The Great Gonzo

      Seeing A Rod on the Independent circuit could be a shit ton of fun.

      • RetroRob

        I’d love to see him playing for the Long Island Ducks.

  • Pinkie Pie

    “If push comes to shove and A-Rod reports to Spring Training next month, Marchand says the Yankees can simply assign him to minor league camp in an effort to minimize the circus and keep him away from the big leaguers. The could even go as far as instructing their coaches to ignore him — to not hit him grounders during infield practice or throw him batting practice.”

    Guilty or not, that’d be a pretty abhorrent thing to do to a man who is within his rights to attend spring training.

    • stuckey

      Not at all. Given the frequency by which Alex Rodriquez and his team go on TV, given the amount of media attention he’d get, given the Yankees can certainly justify giving his reps in the cage, etc to players who have a shot at making the 25 man roster, there is AMPLE baseball/getting your players prepared for the season reasons to not allow him into the ML camp.

      Media circus I believe is a legitimate impediment to players focusing on baseball.

      btw – most people are interpreting the CBA as there is no rule against a suspended player not on the 40 man roster attending and participating in spring training.

      That’s a fundamentally different thing than a player possessing a RIGHT to attend.

      CBA basically says MLB won’t stop it. It does not say he HAS to be allowed to attend.

      • Pinkie Pie

        Excuse me for my semantic error, then. I simply meant that by attending he wouldn’t be infringing upon any codes of conduct or rules that are in place prohibiting him. As for the media circus aspect, there’d be one following him around even if the suspension were overturned in it’s entirety. Even if he doesn’t attend spring training at all, there’ll be swath of reporters asking the players A-Rod related questions. There’s no escaping the shitstorm he’s spawned. And I’d believe the “he’ll be taking reps away from players who have a shot at the 25″ excuse more had the Yankees signed a viable replacement at 3B.

        • stuckey

          What does “had anything signed a viable replacement” have to do anything?

          You suggested if the Yankees don’t allow him to come, they are doing something negative TO HIM. As if the ability to take up space in camp when you have zero chance of playing a game the entire season is a right or even an implied courtesy.

          He can’t play in 2014, even the postseason. I think you’d have a hard time arguing his presence would be a positive to the organization or any player in camp.

          There is simply NO justification to have it occur, considering so right or implied courtesy exists.

          • Pinkie Pie

            Don’t complain to me about that, complain to the writers of the JDA! It is explicitly stated within the JDA that suspended players are allowed to participate in camp and in exhibition games. The fact of the matter is that if A-Rod wants to show up to spring training, he can, regardless of whether it’d be justifiable from a team standpoint. As Mitch stated below, I really hope that it doesn’t come to that and that he refrains from attending out of respect for his teammates. But if he does show up and the Yankees try kicking him out or giving him the silent treatment, the only thing that will accomplish is lending credence to A-Rod’s claim that the Yankees are working with MLB to run him out of the game.

            • stuckey

              He’s allowed. He can show up. There is nothing compelling the Yankees to open the door to the MAJOR League camp. The CBA allows them to point him in the direction of the minor league camp.

              Pinkie Pie. An independent arbitrator has now confirmed the charges against Alex Rodriquez. HIS actions have now left the Yankees with a hole at 3rd base and in the middle of the line-up, whole THEY had planned to have filled by Alex Rodriquez when they signed him to that historic extension.

              Alex Rodriquez has also filed suit against the NY Yankees.

              When do the Yankees get to take a position in this matter?

              He’s now been found what MLB and the MLBPA regard as the equivilant of guilty, which injures the Yankees. We’re not longer waiting for a judgment.

              They have no compelling reason to remain neutral in this matter.

            • BamBamMusings

              Its good to see so many lawyers out there minding the rights of the players. Who cares about whats good for the fans of the team.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          A replacement such as….?

    • mitch

      I agree that would be a terrible way to handle it, but it shouldn’t come to that. I know his relationship with the Yankees isn’t great, but if he has any respect for his teammates he won’t show up in the first place. He’s probably too much of a narcissist to consider the impact showing up would have on anybody other than himself.

      • BamBamMusings

        All bets are off when you enter a lawsuit against your employer!

      • jim p

        Cervelli will be just thrilled to see him, for one, if the report is true that it was A-Rod who leaked his name along with other users.

        • Kiko Jones

          Yeah, that sounds like some Bill “Lapdog” Madden-type conjecture.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Yup, pretty shitty. I also couldn’t care less if they do it. There’s zero reason for him to be there. He’s not playing for a spot anywhere.

  • Dave

    Not complaining about it, but why does A-Rod immediately go off the 40 as opposed to someone who is already going to be out for the year for a 60-day DL stint such as Banuelos?

    • Tim

      I don’t believe players are eligible for the 60 man until some time in spring training.

  • Andrew

    $61 million upon his release is probably worth it to a front office that has openly and publicly regretted giving him his last contract, to the point of letting the 2013 team’s best player walk rather than hand him a contract of the same length. The faster A-Rod’s association with the Yankees is severed, the better.

    • hogsmog

      Though to be fair, Arod in his prime was much, much better than Cano.

      • The Great Gonzo

        He was a lot of fun to watch from 2005-2010.

        • I’m a looser and a trader baby so why don’t you kill me?

          I remember that season where he and Sheffield hit back to back in the lineup and it felt like together they’d go 4-9 with 1BB, 2 2B’s, a HR and like 8 RBI between them. Every night. *

          * may not be entirely accurate.

    • Ray Fuego

      Let’s send to the Mariners!

  • Holy Cow

    Trade him to Seattle for a bag of balls, the Mariners could pay him the league minimum, the Yanks the rest and he could hit behind Robbie again.

  • bkight13

    It may be worth it to NY to see what he does until Spring Training starts, but if he actually shows up to Tampa and tries to workout, they have to just cut him. They don’t need the circus and the 61m is peanuts in the big picture. With all the new FAs, it’s time for a new start. It may very well be Jeter’s last year and he needs to be the focus, not Alex.

    • The Great Gonzo

      I agree with Mike though, I think they’ll just move the headache to Minor League camp on the basis of needing the reps for someone who is going to help the Big Club in 2014. He’ll then be given the option to just go home, which he’ll likely take.

      Then, A-Rod (and the inevitable buyout of his contract) becomes a 2015 problem.

      • TWTR

        Barring a surprising legal outcome in A-Rod’s favor, I expect a buyout, maybe during this season.

        • Sweet Dick Willie

          If by buyout, you mean the Yankees cutting Alex and paying him the $61 million remaining on his contract, okay, I can see that.

          But why would Alex agree to any less than that?

          • The Great Gonzo

            I expect him to take a check within the next 12 months for something close to $50M to just go away. Might be 45M, might be the full 61M. But I think he’ll ride off into the sunset rather than endure the embarrassment of coming back and not playing well. After 24 months of baseball inactivity, we will not be good.

            • Sweet Dick Willie

              I don’t know about you, but I could put up with a lot of embarrassment for $11-16 million.

              And I’m willing to bet Alex could also. At this point, I think he’d hold out for the entire amount just to stick it to the Yanks.

              • I’m a looser and a trader baby so why don’t you kill me?

                With a handle like Sweet Dick Willie, I’m sure you could!

                I’m with you – I often pose the question as a party game…would you blow a dude for $1 billion? Then haggle down from there.

  • Yank4Life

    As I see it, the Yankees were supposedly willing to pay 100 million posting fee just to talk to Tanaka so paying 61 million to get rid of Arod should be no problem.

  • Joemc

    Let’s say the Yankees release ARod today. Another team picks him up and next year he hits 6 homeruns. Are the Yankees now on the hook for the bonus money? Would that be incentive enough to just keep him rostered?

    • stuckey

      Yes to your first question.

      No opinion on your second.

    • Johnson McSuccotash

      You’re right on the money. This is absolutely and exactly why the Yankees will keep ARod rostered.

      In addition, I cannot imagine a scenario where ARod decides to take a buyout from the Yankees. All he needs to do at 40 years old is to hit 6 home runs in order to take millions of dollars more from the Yankees. That’s it.

      Why should he accept less money? He can get a million dollars per home run from the Yankees – a team he desperately would love to punish – in addition to making another $61 million for working out.

      Unless the Yankees give him MORE money than he’s currently owed, there’s no way he’ll take a buyout and just retire.

  • TopChuckie

    Does he get paid anything for his time in spring training?

    Can’t the Yanks just suspend him for conduct detrimental to the team or something like that? I would think the MLBPA would only balk if he’s losing money as a result, so if he does get something for attending ST, just suspend him with pay.

    In any event, I would think there are ways to keep him away short of cutting him, unless he is just that hell bent on being a nuisance, which is starting to appear more and more possible.

  • The Great Gonzo

    ‘I don’t know how likely that is; the Collective Bargaining Agreement and JDA are pretty airtight.’

    Yet somehow A-Rod didn’t fail a drug test but got the equivalent punishment of a 2 time offender.

    • stuckey

      Listen, whether you agree he did or did not is fine. Whether you agree baseball should punish him for certain things or should not is fine.

      Let’s that THAT argument.

      But why can’t we stop pretending Alex Rodriquez is being suspended for merely taking PEDs?

      It’s WELL-ESTABLISHED the other things Anthony Bosch and MLB alledges he did is a factor in the length of his suspension.

      • lightSABR

        No kidding. I’m getting really sick of the “First-time offender! 50 games!” crowd. It’s like they think actually using is the only thing related to PEDs that you can get suspended for.

      • The Great Gonzo

        We are taking Tony Bosch at face value, that I have a problem with.

        A Rod may not be innocent, but to say the JDA and CBA are air-tight, except for when you can come up with a witch hunt with shadily acquired evidence and testimony… then we can piss on the JDA & CBA.

        If this was the path they wanted to take, then they should have, in all honesty, went with the Pete Rose – ‘Sanctity of The Game’ Lifetime Ban. You can then piss on the JDA & CBA, because you have the precedent to do so. But all they’ve done now is leave themselves wide open for A Rod to fight the case and drag more shit out in the open.

        • Lets go Yankees

          I love how the same crowd sighting JDAs and CBAs are running around with the “Where was baseball in the 90″. Come on already! The guys a major cheat who involved himself with that turd Tony Bosch to begin with. Had A-Rod gone through actual licensed doctors with credibility it would be a different story.

    • jim p

      Him and those other dozen guys who didn’t fail. Who didn’t pretend they were clean. The additional penalties, as you know, were connected with trying to bury evidence and sabotage MLB’s investigation. Such penalties allowed under the CBA.

      The ‘somehow’ is analytic evidence, and not magic or because someone hates ARod. There’s an article, I think in the Times, today that all of sports is going for the analytic evidence route as beating tests can be done, and done fairly easily. For instance, if you chewed a testosterone-laced lozenge at the beginning of a game, it’ll be out of your system three hours later, when testing is done.

      • Holy Ghost

        It sounds like snake oil BS to me. I mean I find it very difficult to believe a person could take Steroids or Testosterone and not show elevated levels of Testosterone hours later. Even if it’s taken in small doses.

        Didn’t Melky and Braun fail tests for Testosterone after going to Biogenesis?

        Whatever Bosch was selling at his clinic, it’s nothing on the level of BALCO in terms of effectiveness and being difficult to trace.

      • The Great Gonzo

        Is it possible… and believe me, I would NEVER assume the MLB would do something shady and bully players into getting their message across…

        BUT, is it possible that everyone that took the deal was asked to do so by the league with the threat of harsher punishment?

    • Laz

      Worse.
      2 time offender gets 100 games. Alex got 211.

  • I’m One

    Mike (or someone that knows with certainty), If A-Rod is bought out, does his salary count against the cap the same way it would if he were still playing (~27.5m/yr)?

    • stuckey

      Yes, if bought out at the full amount.

      If he accepts some sort of buyout at a reduced amount, I believe the buyout amount averaged over the remaining years of the contract counts toward the cap.

  • mitch

    Maybe the Yankees could use Arod’s spring training presence to their benefit. He’s obviously going to be using PEDs. They should make last minute changes to his playing schedule so he won’t have time to manipulate the test results. 1PM/4PM split squad games…schedule him for the 4 and switch him to the 1…”Random” test after game. Boom, lifetime suspension.

    • bkight13

      best idea I heard today

  • MUIDATS EEKNAY

    If he’s released and no one picks him up, does his salary count against the luxury cap?

    Also, I’m not really buying it. Even though he’ll be grossly overpaid, I don’t think there’s a clearly-better 3B option in the pipeline, and I don’t think avoiding distraction would be worth eating $61M and a 3B that would contribute at least somewhat on offense.

    • stuckey

      Of course.

    • lightSABR

      For 2015, maybe he’ll be the best option, but it’s unlikely given his age. But you’ve got to hope that Jagielo is ready for 2016, or at least ready to be better than a 41-year-old, which is what A-Rod will turn that season.

  • Darren

    I don’t see the Yankees trying to buy out ARod. ARod won’t accept anything less than the full $61mm and why should he? He’s a super competitive motherfucker and he has a HUGE shot at redemption if the Yankees suck (again) this year and he can come come back in 2015 and be productive. I can’t wait.

    • TWTR

      A buyout now may save $10m in legal fees.

      • Darren

        Do you genuinely think that ARod cares more about $10mm, or desperately trying to stay in the spotlight this year and play baseball? And if you’re Cashman, wouldn’t you rather pay $61mm and have ARod, rather than $51mm and NOT? As a fan, I’d rather use the $51mm for other players and hope that ARod has something to offer in August of this year.

        • TWTR

          Well, first off, I have to think Cashman has very little to do with this decision. It’s purely about money, not baseball.

          But at some point, this is also a business decision for A-Rod as well, and I would think his advisers will tell him that.

          If their read is that Yankees and every other team have no interest in having them on their team (see Bonds, Barry), then cut the best business deal you can.

    • Reggie C.

      This.

  • There’s the Door

    Not just the worst contract in baseball history. Considering all its toxic effects and the damage it has done to the brand, possibly one of the worst decisions in the history of American business.

    • TWTR

      I don’t think the brand has been hurt at all, and without him, they might still be in a position of not having won a WS since 2000.

      The game and the team have survived much worse.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        1000% this.

        This deserves “sticky” status on top of every Alex-related thread.

        • stuckey

          People keep citing the steeper decline in attendance and ratings this season compared to the previous 3.

          Perhaps SOME of the explanation was the lack of stars and the less-the-usual win pace.

          Isn’t it worth at least considering that the entire Alex Rodriquez situation hanging over the team all season has perhaps damaged the brand and affected enthusiasm?

          Who’s got evidence to refute that?

          The important distinction here is just because it doesn’t matter to YOU, doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter to others.

          The amount well all watched YES probably wasn’t effected significantly by the Yankees lesser play, because we’re the minority – hardcore fans. Therefore it stands to reason other less-hardcore fans may have been negatively impacted by matters different than what matters to me and you.

          And whether they have survived worth is not a rational for surviving him any further.

          • LK

            While what you say is possible, you’d need an explanation for the fact that A-Rod’s season debut was the highest rated game on YES. That seems to suggest that the A-Rod circus was actually preventing interest in the team from dropping even further.

          • Holy Ghost

            The Yankees experienced a boost in TV ratings and attendance after A-Rod returned in 2013. Even on the road, fans buy tickets just to boo A-Rod.

            http://m.nydailynews.com/1.1418823

            If attendance was down last season, it was probably due to the lack of Stars on the field(injuries) and the lack of a competitive team, not A-Rod.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            I’ve always wondered what picking an argument with thin air looked like. Now I can move on.

            • I’m a looser and a trader baby so why don’t you kill me?

              Stuckey – a lover of facts, but only those facts which he loves.

              • Jorge Steinbrenner

                He’s like Red Felson, if it’s not, in fact, him again. The fact that I mostly agree with him is overshadowed by a need to fight everything to death in the Internet.

    • mitch

      If we just look at it from a $/WAR perspective, i’m not sure it will end up the worst contract ever. Assuming he’s done playing, they will have paid $250mil for 20WAR for this 10 year contract or $12.5mil/WAR. I’d guess that’s not the worst using this methodology.

    • fhfh

      Yea, sorry. You could not be more wrong. $250M being one of the worst decisions in American Business history…? You must not have a great grasp of the history of American Business.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      I’d be curious what your top ten……nah, I’m really not curious at all.

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

      Bwahahahahahahahahahaha

    • LK

      American business? Don’t you think you’re underreacting here a little bit? I would say Paris kidnapping Helen of Troy, Hitler choosing to invade Russia, and Oedipus deciding to become king of Thebes are competing with the A-Rod contract for the worst decision in human history.

      • bpdelia

        This here is the winner. Wit classical literary references greatest generation reference, funny, not overly harsh in tone, funny. Win. Also massive hyperbole is always the best response to big hyperbole.

    • Kiko Jones

      Not even close to the $500m the NBA is going to pay to get out of a deal they made in 1976 with Ozzie and Daniel Silna, who owned the ABA’s Spirits of St. Louis.

  • The Oberamtmann

    Maybe send A-Rod to Minor League camp and ask him to coach the youngsters on hitting? He seems to like doing that.

    Please, no “so he can give them PEDs?” responses.

    • The Great Gonzo

      I would not be at all opposed to him adding value elsewhere in the Org. He is not a monster, at worst he’s a genuine dolt that takes BAD advice over and over again and it ends up burning him.

      More than likely, he’s just a guy who’s tried too hard his entire life to be just a hair better than the Greek-God-Level expectations put on him for the past 20 years.

    • I’m a looser and a trader baby so why don’t you kill me?

      Welcome back (?)

  • Reggie C.

    Am i the only one who thinks upon Arod’s return to the active roster in 2015, that the team should not cut ties with him and instead have the man show if he’s got what it takes to return to start. If Arod can indeed compete at a higher level than any replacement scrub, then just let him play.

    This distraction business is horribly overblown. Barring a stunning acquisition of a FA-to-be Hanley Ramirez, Arod will still likely be a huge improvement over any 3B the yankees call upon from the minors or find in the FA dumpster.

    Just let the man play to the best of his declining abilities. The Yankees have a whole year to allow the talents of Ellsbury and McCann and hopefully Tanaka really take root in the hearts and minds of the fans.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Of course. If he can play, he should play. I’m not paying his ass to take his ball and go home.

      I have zero faith in his ability to be a productive everyday player again, though. Still, he should play off the bench, be helping the grounds crew, and serve me my maximum two Beers of the World.

      • TheEvilUmpire

        That’s what they said to John Kruk!

        Get it??? Because he has only one… Aww nevermind, it’s not funny if you have to explain it!

      • jsbrendog

        if you sit in the bleachers it is maximum one beer. cause, of course it is. and it stops in the 5th inning. cause…you get the idea. at least you can go up a flight of stairs to get 2 maximum until the 7th inning. makes. no. sense.

        (yes, i would rather discuss ys3 beer semantics than arod.)

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          Calorie counts on YS3 beer is….wait for it…..actually the worst business decision in American history. I once actually ordered a Czechvar based on them.

    • I’m a looser and a trader baby so why don’t you kill me?

      +1

    • OldYanksFan

      I agree 100%. I believe if handled correctly, ARod could help the team a lot in 2015.

      Both hips will be 100% healed. He will be well rested… if not by choice. If Raul can still help a team, certainly a 39 year old ARod can. The Yanks should allow and encourage ARod to play Independent Ball to stay sharp. They Win 2 ways. They benefit if ARod gets a serious injury. They benefit if ARod can be a .750 OPS player in 2015.

      The guy is driven. He had records to break. Unless the Yankees make it hard/impossible to come back, he may still have something left.

      It would be crazy with the cost of FAs, and our limited farm, to spend $16m for nothing (Releasing him).

  • MB923

    I asked this in another post but never got an answer. I’m probably not the first to ask it, but I haven’t really been on the A-Rod threads much so bear with me

    Aren’t the Yankees better off just paying him the final 3 year/$60+ million left and getting rid of him? I believe (though I could be wrong) it saves them from future luxury tax problems (luxury tax money is only accounted for players on the 40 man roster which A-Rod is not on in 2014). It also prevents them from paying those stupid milestone HR bonuses they gave out to him. And for those who don’t know, that $ count towards the team payroll

    From an article online – Payroll figures are for 40-man rosters and include salaries and prorated shares of signing bonuses, earned incentive bonuses, non-cash compensation, buyouts of unexercised options and cash transactions, such as money included in trades. In some cases, parts of salaries that are deferred are discounted to reflect present-day values.

    That would mean say A-Rod played in 2015 and hit at least 6 HR’s, his salary + incentives would be $33.5 million towards the 2015 payroll

    If they pay him off and dump him, is he excluded from the team payroll from 2015-2017?

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

      “If they pay him off and dump him, is he excluded from the team payroll from 2015-2017?”

      No.

      Which is why it’s probably not happening.

  • mt

    I am torn on whether Yankees will release him at end of contract – given $61 million cost, they probably will not release him and first see if he first cannot pass his medical exam so they can possibly recoup some money due to insurance. Or, as post points out, he might actually fail a drug test down the road (someone pointed out that Bosch was a little forgetful, shall we say, about how foolproof his regimen was – Grandal, Melky, Braun, etc. did fail drug tests while on his regimen (although their regimens may have been less extensive or precise than Alex’s) – I can see Alex being maniacal and precise and making sure he did everything according to Bosch to avoid failing any test.

    I have always thought they would keep Arod around even with the “publicity circus” but I can also see it being operationally untenable: let’s assume at some point A-rod sues Yankees in addition to his current law suit against the Yankees doctor Ahmad – suppose Arod gets hurt during spring training and needs care – would you as a Yankee doctor want to be involved with any medical care for A-rod?; would you as Brian Cashman want to be involved with deciding whether he should play or be put on DL? – everyone on Yankees or medical staff will fear another lawsuit or their actions being used in his current lawsuit(s).

    The sad thing is he could have avoided all of this by settling earlier for 50-100 games but he kept firing advisors and lawyers until he found a group who would argue with a straight face he is being “wronged” – but Tacopina only makes big money if Arod fights everything in legal system. The only one who loses is Arod if he does not win these legal challenges – Tacopina still bags big legal fees. Was there anybody around (other than lawyers and PR folks) that he trusted that he could confide in who might tell him to cut bait? (Rememeber Weiner, before he died, said in an interview that MLBPA advised Alex to work out a deal after MLBPA had reviewed the eveidence.)

    Also I see a real threat that if he gets released that his hometown Miami Marlins pick him up. It then becomes untenable that Yanks will pay HR bonuses to someone not even on team. Maybe they keep him and “waste” a roster spot for a back-up DH for 2015 and part of 2016 and release him when total gets to less than $30 million – it all sucks whichever way you look at it.

    (In a strange way, Yanks will be secretly hopeful Alex takes banned subtances after 2014 – either he gets caught and suspended (probably banned for life) getting them off hook for his contract or, if he does not get caught, he will perform better on field and possibly be at least a league average player that will partially defray his exorbitant $61 million cost.)

    • mt

      Also given his 10/5 rights, doesn’t Alex have to be carried on Yankees 25 man roster from 2015-2017, not just parked on 40-man roster? Does anybody definitively know?

    • LK

      “The sad thing is he could have avoided all of this by settling earlier for 50-100 games”

      Do you have a link to support this notion? All I remember hearing was that MLB was threatening him with a lifetime ban.

      • mt

        I don’t have a link but it was a radio interview on XM or MLB Radio that Weiner did a couple of months before he died. 50-100 was not specifically mentioned by Weiner but anything much more than that would not have made a lot of sense to avoid this mess. Buster Olney today has an artcile (ESPN Insider blog) that goes through the opportunity that Arod may have missed earlier in the process.

        Problem is I do not definitively know what MLB offered (if they ever offered anything) or what lesser penalty MLBPA recommended that Arod try to get (it is clear that MLBPA did recommend Arod take a lesser penalty an be done with it.). I have got to believe Selig would have been ecstatic at 100. Just my speculation.

        • The Great Gonzo

          As I asked above, then… is it possible that 13 people were made some offer similar to what Weiner suggested, and only A-Rod decided to fight?

  • Batsman

    The Yankees should look into settling his contract. Perhaps settle it for 50-55 mil and be done with him. Arod lost his 25 mil salary this season. Just give him 50-55 mil, So Alex will have at least have that income this year. Then next season Alex can go play in Japan, Puerto Rico, or wherever…

  • Holy Ghost

    Unless the Yankees are willing to eat the rest of A-Rod’s salary, I think there’s a better than 50% chance he returns to the team in 2015.

    Due to the milestone incentives in A-Rod’s contract, he has more incentive not to retire or settle for less money. They could still end up paying him more than 60 million.

  • Dale Mohorcic

    If they are going to be over $189M this year anyway, they could perhpas negotiate a discount in exchange for paying off the remainder of the contract right now.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      It would still count against the luxury tax over the remaining years of the contract, even if paid in advance.

      • Dale Mohorcic

        If it were negotiated to $40M, for example, wouldn’t that be worth it? A 33% haircut for immediate payment isn’t too crazy and it would reduce the LT hit. I can’t imagine the player’s union would make too big of a fuss at this juncture.

  • J

    US District Court Judge Pauley has just ruled that the arbitrator’s decision cannot be filed piecemeal under seal. The decision must be filed in its entirety and available to the public. The judge appears to have also rejected the union’s request to redact information required to be confidential under the CBA.

    • Coolerking101

      BREAK OUT THE POPCORN! Time for a fun read.

  • Laz

    I would be surprised if they cut him, unless MLB gives them an incentive. As it is, he will likely get that $6M hr bonus, but has 3 years left of control. So that is $2M a year extra that it would cost them to have him play. After that he has to hit another 54 hr to get the next bonus, and if he can achieve that he will have been well worth that extra $6M. Basically would be the same price as Hafner was.

  • RetroRob

    An alternate point of view, but I don’t see the Yankees eating $61M before the assess what has left a year from now. The Yankees still want to win, and a year from now he still may be their best option. Right now they might not believe that, but a year from now things could change.

  • Farewell Mo

    Agree with Mike comment above and with Jim Bowden yesterday on EPSN when they opined Arod will be released prior to the start of spring training 2015 and that no team in MLB would ever dare sign him.

    At this point, his production doesn’t balance his baggage and bullshit.

    Like Mike said above, Bonds was the far better player at this stage of their careers and the bridges Arod has torched along the way suing the Yankees, team doctors, etc far exceed anything that Bonds did.

    • Farewell Mo

      They’ll sign Chase Headley or Panda after the season and Arod will have little to no value as a part time DH/reserve corner infielder.

    • Holy Ghost

      I could see Miami signing A-Rod if he gets released by the Yankees. He’s still pretty popular in down there.

      But I’d like to see A-Rod back with the Yanks in 2015 if only just to see the reactions from some fans…

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        I’m in Miami right now. He’s not as popular as you think. High school in the nineties was a long-ass time ago.

  • I’m a looser and a trader baby so why don’t you kill me?

    You contradict yourself here. They can’t BOTH protect their asset by refusing to let him play in an independent league in 2014 AND plan to release him. Why would they do one if they planned for the other? Makes absolutely no sense.

    Further, there is *ample* reason to let him play somewhere in 2014. Two very good reasons:
    -he injures himself to the point where the Yanks can seek an insurance settlement for 2015-17
    OR
    -he maintains his conditioning and timing such that he is a productive player for the Yanks in 2015 (if still over paid)