The drama surrounding Alex Rodriguez and his potential return to the New York Yankees is growing by the day. Earlier this week, Rodriguez took to Twitter to express his excitement over the news he received from his doctor regarding his injured hip. Yankees GM Brian Cashman responded to that by saying A-Rod has not been cleared to play, and the he should probably “shut the f— up” about it.
Cashman later apologized for his language and Rodriguez basically admitted he was overly excited, but the situation is starting to turn ugly.
For starters, ESPNNewYork.com reported on Thursday that a source close to A-Rod said the slugger believes the Yankees are deliberately trying to slow his return as part of an insurance scam. The source said that Rodriguez feels there is something “really off” about the team seemingly being angry that a doctor cleared him to play.
“Alex thinks it’s all about the insurance,” the source reportedly said. “How could it not be?”
The motive would be this — if A-Rod is unable to return this because of his hip, insurance would pick up 80% of the $28 million he is owed this season. If he retires because of the hip injury, insurance would have to cover 80% of the $114 million he’s owed over the next five years of his contract.
It’s no secret that New York does not want to pay A-Rod the $114 million he has left remaining on his deal. Who would? He is barely a fraction of the player he once was, yet he is scheduled to be paid like one of the best players in baseball through 2017. Naturally, Cashman and Yankees president Andy Levine told ESPNNewYork.com that they want a healthy A-Rod back as soon as possible.
That’s one theory. Another comes from the NY Daily News, which published a report on Thursday claiming Rodriguez is looking to start playing in rehab games so he can insist he is physically unable to perform, retire and then collect the $114 million remaining on his deal. The idea there would be to get in and out before the MLB inevitably suspends him for his involvement with the latest steroid scandal.
“It’s all about him getting his money and not losing it to suspension,” a source reportedly told Daily News. “He knows he’s never going to the Hall of Fame. All that’s left for him is to make sure he gets his money — all of it.”
In the rare event that A-Rod is banned from baseball for life, he would not be able to collect his remaining salary.
“He knows (MLB) has the goods on him,” the source allegedly said. “Who knows how long the suspension will be — 100 games, whatever — he’ll try to get out ahead of it.”
For what it’s worth, a NY Post source subscribed to the same theory as the Daily News, claiming that Rodriguez may be looking to retire due to a health problem before the bleep hits the fan with the Biogenesis mess.
You follow all that? Whichever report you choose to believe, I think we can all agree that this is not a good situation for New York. The Yankees knew A-Rod could not possibly live up to the back end of his contract, but there was no way to predict the hip injury and the Biogenesis scandal. Even Nostradamus could not have foreseen things getting this ugly.