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David Price would never sign long-term with Yankees because of facial hair policy

The Tampa Bay Rays have David Price under team control for a few more seasons, but history would tell you they are not opposed to trading him before their time with him is up. Price is 27 years old and one of the best left-handed starters in the game. If he continues to pitch the way he has over the past few seasons, he could be destined to become the highest-paid pitcher in MLB history.

If the Rays are unable to afford signing Price to a long-term extension, they could look to trade him while he still holds a ton of value. As John Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reminded us, they traded James Shields to the Kansas City Royals when he was still two years from free agency.

Price understands that his time in Tampa may be limited, but he doesn’t sound like a guy who is simply going to sign with the highest bidder in three years. For example, he has a very specific reason why he doesn’t envision himself pitching for the New York Yankees.

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Yankees reportedly trying to protect Alex Rodriguez from paparazzi

alex rodriguezAlex Rodriguez appears to be hiding. Between rehabbing an injury that could sideline him for much of the 2013 season and facing accusations surrounding performance-enhancing drug use, A-Rod is likely not anxious to speak to the media any time soon. That is why the New York Yankees are doing their best to protect him.

“I’m not going to say to try and keep away the extra, whatever you want to call it, paparazzi, whatever it is, the stakeout, wherever he is working out,” general manager Brian Cashman said Monday night at a team fundraiser, via the New York Post. “That’s the only reason I’m not going to say where he is going to be on a given day.”

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he has seen A-Rod working out at Yankee Stadium since undergoing hip surgery on Jan. 16, but that he has only spoken to him about his health — not the latest steroid controversy.

“I think our club is used to handling distractions,” Girardi said. “The city we play in, there’s a lot of news always surrounding our club. A lot of times, it’s a lot of good news. Our club will handle it. A club like ours is going to go through adversity all the time. Going through a season is never easy. Why would this year be any different?”

It’s interesting to hear the Yankees’ brass come out and publicly state that they are protecting A-Rod, especially on the heels of this report that claims Rodriguez is wondering if the MLB and the Yankees have something to do with trying to smear his name. Since A-Rod has a history of lying about steroid use, he is not going to receive the benefit of the doubt. I understand wanting to hide from the paparazzi and tabloids, but at some point Rodriguez needs to tell his side of the story. The longer he waits, the more people will assume he is guilty.

Alex Rodriguez is reportedly not planning to retire…how stunning!

alex rodriguezThe New York Yankees would love to rid themselves of Alex Rodriguez. When the team signed A-Rod to a contract that pays him around $30 million a year and keeps him in New York through age 42, it was well-known that the back end of his deal would be a financial nightmare. Rodriguez’s best years are behind him. He can’t stay healthy and, to make matters worse, his name has once again been linked to performance-enhancing drug use.

Earlier this week, a report indicated that the Yankees are exploring various options to void A-Rod’s contract. There were also rumors that Rodriguez may simply retire and forfeit the $114 million on his contract, but it doesn’t sound like that is going to happen.

“Alex has no plans at all to retire,” a source with close ties to Rodriguez reportedly told ESPNNewYork.com.

After news surfaced that A-Rod may have a link to Anthony Bosch, a Miami-based nutritionist who is believed to have supplied human growth hormone to several players, the Yankees reportedly looked into the possibility of penalizing him or voiding his contract by establishing that his chronic hip issue is linked to steroid use. However, the surgeon who repaired A-Rod’s hip said the injury was not drug-related.

According to ESPNNewYork.com, Rodriguez has been hurt by the Yankees effort to void his contract. That hasn’t stopped him from continuing to rehab in hopes of returning sometime after the All-Star break.

The bottom line is A-Rod has $114 million remaining on his contract. Regardless of how much money he has made throughout his career, there are very few people who would voluntarily leave that kind of money on the table. The Yankees may not have envisioned A-Rod’s contract situation getting this out of hand, but that’s the risk you take when breaking the bank for a franchise-altering player.

Yankees reportedly trying to void Alex Rodriguez’s contract

alex rodriguezThe New York Yankees are working to void Alex Rodriguez’s contract in light of the Miami New Times report linking him to PEDs, ESPN New York reports.

Miami New Times reported Tuesday that Rodriguez was a client of Anthony Bosch, who ran an anti-aging company that also allegedly supplied performance-enhancing drugs to numerous athletes. Their report states that Rodriguez appeared in Bosch’s records 16 times and that he was associated with products like HGH and testosterone.

Rodriguez signed a 10-year, $275 million contact extension with the team in 2009. The Yankees expected A-Rod to become the all-time home run king and tied many monetary bonuses to his pursuit of the career home run record. His performance has fallen off dramatically in recent years, and the Yankees would like to rid themselves of the $114 million they owe him through 2017.

ESPN New York says the odds are slim that the Yankees are successful in voiding Rodriguez’s contract. They reportedly are exploring around 20 potential different factors that could help them void the contract. Some of the possible reasons they’re exploring to void the contract includes A-Rod consulting a non-team doctor and/or buying illegal products.

A-Rod has denied the report linking him to Bosch.

“The news report about a purported relationship between Alex Rodriguez and Anthony Bosch are not true,” his publicist said in a statement. “Alex Rodriguez was not Mr. Bosch’s patient, he was never treated by him and he was never advised by him. The purported documents referenced in the story — at least as they relate to Alex Rodriguez — are not legitimate.”

The Yankees’ case may be weakened by the fact that they continued to pay A-Rod even after he admitted in 2009 to using PEDs. Of course, when A-Rod made his 2009 admission after being busted by Sports Illustrated, he said the usage was confined to his time with the Texas Rangers from 2001-2003.

The Yankees also reportedly have explored the possibility of trading Rodriguez.

Kevin Youkilis is headed to the dark side

After spending his entire career with the Boston Red Sox, it looks like Kevin Youkilis is going to the dark side.

FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal says Youkilis and the New York Yankees have agreed on a one-year, $12 million deal, which is pending a physical. Youkilis is expected to replace third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who had hip surgery and is expected to miss the first few months of the season.

Youkilis was drafted by the Red Sox in 2001 and he developed into a star with Boston. He was a three-time All-Star, won two World Series with the team, and he peaked in 2008 and 2009 when finished in the top six in AL MVP voting both years. And now he’s going to the Yankees.

The move is not as painful for Red Sox fans as it would have been had Youkilis played the entire 2012 season in Boston.

Youk was criticized by manager Bobby Valentine amid a horrible start to the season. After he returned from the disabled list, the Red Sox decided to trade him to the Chicago White Sox. He played half the season in Chicago and already had his “welcome back” game at Fenway Park.

What makes this different from a situation like Johnny Damon is that Youkilis was run out of town by Boston, whereas a player like Damon chose the Yankees over the Red Sox for more money.

Though Youkilis’ bat has been declining the past two seasons, he should be able to adequately fill a need for the Yankees. I think it’s a pretty good signing.

Photo Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

Joe Girardi reportedly asked Yankees PA announcer not to say A-Rod was being pinch-hit for

New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi reportedly went out of his way to try to spare Alex Rodriguez’s feelings during the playoffs.

According to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, Girardi called the Yankees public address announcer to have A-Rod’s name omitted from the announcement when Eric Chavez pinch-hit for the aging slugger during the postseason. Typically, pinch hit announcements include both the new batter and the player he is replacing in the lineup. In this case, A-Rod’s name wasn’t mentioned in the stadium.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman reportedly confirmed to Heyman that Girardi made the call.

Rodriguez was pinch-hit for on consecutive nights during the ALDS against the Baltimore Orioles. The first time was after he went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in Game 3. Raul Ibanez replaced him and hit two home runs to help the Yankees win 3-2 in 12 innings. A-Rod seemed to take things fine and was the biggest cheerleader in the dugout after being replaced. Rodriguez was replaced by Chavez the next night after going 1-for-4 with a walk in a 2-1 loss to the Orioles in Game 4.

A-Rod was also pinch-hit for during a 6-4 loss to the Tigers in Game 1 of the ALCS. He was 0-for-3 with a strikeout before Eric Chavez hit for him. Strangely, he also served as a pinch-hitter replacing Ibanez when the Yanks were eliminated in Game 4 of the ALCS. They each went 0-for-2.

Rodriguez spoke positively about Girardi throughout the playoffs despite being replaced by pinch-hitters and eventually benched. He said Girardi had built up a lot of equity with him. It’s considerate moves like this that make us see why A-Rod would feel strongly about his manager.

Say what you want about the whole thing, but that’s a really considerate move by Girardi. It’s nice to hear about another side of him after the August incident.

Photo Credit: Aristide Economopoulos/THE STAR-LEDGER via US PRESSWIRE

Anonymous player says the Yankees were ‘spooked’ by the fans booing

If any excuse the Yankees could make for their poor ALCS showing would be off-limits, I would have to think it would be blaming the fans. Nothing New York fans say should surprise the players, no matter how vulgar, inappropriate or unsupportive it may be. According to one anonymous Yankee, it did this year.

“I really think the booing spooked a lot of guys,” the player reportedly told John Harper of the NY Daily News. “A lot of guys hadn’t been booed before, and they couldn’t believe how nasty it got in the stands. A lot of guys were talking about it in the clubhouse. I was surprised by how much it bothered them. I really don’t think they ever recovered.”

It certainly bothered Nick Swisher, who was open about the fact that the criticism he heard from Yankees fans at the start of their series against the Tigers was hurtful to him. Robinson Cano was one of New York’s most beloved players throughout his monster regular season at the plate, but even he was booed in the postseason because of his horrendous slump. And A-Rod, well, that’s a novel in itself.

As Aaron Gleeman of Hardball Talk pointed out, the Yankees played two games in Detroit in the ALCS as well. They embarrassed themselves on the road just as badly as they did at home. It all came down to poor play and an inability to get the bats going. It didn’t help that the Tigers’ starters are as hot as they’ve been all season. When your payroll is as high as New York’s, the team shouldn’t expect any sympathy from the fans.