• A-Rod Never To Play For Yankees Again?

    Posted by on January 31st, 2013 · Comments (11)

    Via the Daily News -

    Alex Rodriguez is unlikely to ever wear the pinstripes again, sources familiar with the Yankees’ situation with their troubled third baseman told the Daily News, no matter what happens regarding new allegations that he is again involved with performance-enhancing drugs.

    According to numerous baseball sources, the hip surgery Rodriguez is now recovering from will likely derail his playing career, leaving him in such a diminished role that he may consider a settlement or an outright retirement. He still has five years and $114 million left on his contract.

    “I don’t know why he would want to go through the pain of rehabbing and trying to play up to the caliber of player he was, and come back to a game where nobody wants him,” said a baseball official.

    “If he did that, he’d be a part-time player and presumably unable to achieve any of the incentive clauses in the contract or even the milestones.”

    This could be a way to force A-Rod’s hand – and one that is totally legal, etc. The Yankees can simply tell him “Do what you need to do, yadda-yadda. But, when you come back, we’re not playing you. If we are forced to active you, you will set the bench the entire time you are with the team. We will only use you in mop-up duty. And, if you refuse to go play in the field when you are called upon, we will void your contract for your refusal to play.”

    Sure, it would be a media mess and a distraction to the team. But, the long term gain from the short term pain may just be worth it.

    Comments on A-Rod Never To Play For Yankees Again?

    1. Evan3457
      January 31st, 2013 | 7:54 am

      Yeah, the MLBPA won’t let them get away with that; i.e., publicly shaming him to force him to retire or take a reduced settlement.

    2. January 31st, 2013 | 8:04 am

      @ Evan3457:
      What could the MLBPA do? He’s still getting paid and getting service time. The MLBPA cannot tell a team who to use a player and force them to have him in the starting line-up.

      If Derek Bell can make an ‘Operation Shutdown’ declaration and get away with it, why couldn’t a team do the same?

    3. Evan3457
      January 31st, 2013 | 8:19 am

      Steve L. wrote:

      @ Evan3457:
      What could the MLBPA do? He’s still getting paid and getting service time. The MLBPA cannot tell a team who to use a player and force them to have him in the starting line-up.
      If Derek Bell can make an ‘Operation Shutdown’ declaration and get away with it, why couldn’t a team do the same?

      The thing that will force the Yankees’ hand is the the damned “HR performance bonus” clauses they signed. If the Yankees bench him, especially after this season with Youkillis no longer on the team, the MLBPA will be able to grieve it on that basis. So the Yanks will have to, in effect, pay those bonuses even if he never gets close, or buy him out in full.

    4. MJ Recanati
      January 31st, 2013 | 9:16 am

      @ Evan3457:
      @ Steve L.:
      I think you’re both partially correct. The Yankees CAN tell him his life will be miserable (without actually saying those words) since that’s what teams used to do in order to get players to reject arbitration so they could get their compensation draft picks. However, being benched and all that goes with it is but a small price to pay for $114M so I doubt it’ll have the intended effect on Rodriguez. The Yankees would only be hurting the team by effectively carrying a 24-man roster while still paying the forgotten 25th man $28M in 2013. It’s in the Yankees’ best interest to come to a negotiated settlement.

      Where I disagee is with the notion that they’d have to pay out the HR performance bonus monies. Whereas the Yankees are contractually obligated to pay Rodriguez a minimum of $114M over the next five years, there’s no way Rodriguez can apply leverage to get the $30M in escalators added because triggers aren’t guaranteed.

    5. Evan3457
      January 31st, 2013 | 4:33 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Where I disagee is with the notion that they’d have to pay out the HR performance bonus monies. Whereas the Yankees are contractually obligated to pay Rodriguez a minimum of $114M over the next five years, there’s no way Rodriguez can apply leverage to get the $30M in escalators added because triggers aren’t guaranteed.

      I didn’t mean to imply A-Rod could force the Yankees to pay him the HR bonuses if he doesn’t achieve them. What he can do is grieve any decision to permanently punitively bench him on the grounds that it denies him any chance to achieve those bonuses, especially if the Yanks have nobody better to play 3rd. And, after Youkillis leaves, they won’t.

    6. January 31st, 2013 | 4:46 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      I didn’t mean to imply A-Rod could force the Yankees to pay him the HR bonuses if he doesn’t achieve them. What he can do is grieve any decision to permanently punitively bench him on the grounds that it denies him any chance to achieve those bonuses, especially if the Yanks have nobody better to play 3rd. And, after Youkillis leaves, they won’t.

      Maybe this is the moment for Jeter to shift from SS to 3B? Then again, there’s no one in Cashman’s pipeline ready to step in and play a decent defensive game as a FT SS these days either…

    7. MJ Recanati
      January 31st, 2013 | 5:04 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      Maybe this is the moment for Jeter to shift from SS to 3B?

      Not happening.

      Steve L. wrote:

      Then again, there’s no one in Cashman’s pipeline ready to step in and play a decent defensive game as a FT SS these days either…

      There are definitely players that can play a decent defensive SS in the system. The issue is that they can’t hit a lick and the Yankees — rightly so — don’t want automatic outs in the lineup when they can keep Jeter at SS.

    8. January 31st, 2013 | 9:05 pm

      I mentioned the other day that AROD will never play another game in a Yankee uniform. Maybe the Yanks get lucky and get out from under the onerous contract and collect on the insurance policy. Maybe they can somehow reach a settlement with AROD that both parties can live with. Or Maybe the team will have to pay off the contract in its entirety. Even if the latest fall from grace never happened what were we clinging to here. A badly damaged player who might have been able to play 90 or so games at 3rd base a year. A player who would have been so compromised both in the field and at the bat that he would have been a constant source of blame and distraction. Add to that the fact that there would be no hope of things getting any better. No records are going to be broken, no merchandise sold, no day, no plaque, no number retired, no nothing, but a constant source of negative energy and negative publicity. Remember the old gambler song, “you got to know when to hold them, know when to fold them….”, the team’s brain trust know it’s time to fold them no matter what the cost is. As they say in business, just get the best deal you can.

    9. Evan3457
      January 31st, 2013 | 9:34 pm

      I find it hard to believe the Yanks will simply pay off the whole contract just to get him off the team.

      Very hard.

    10. Raf
      January 31st, 2013 | 11:56 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      If Derek Bell can make an ‘Operation Shutdown’ declaration and get away with it, why couldn’t a team do the same?

      Employers and employees have different rights. Just like it’s expected that I give 2 weeks notice before I leave a job, yet I can be terminated at will.

    11. Raf
      February 1st, 2013 | 12:00 am

      Steve L. wrote:

      Maybe this is the moment for Jeter to shift from SS to 3B? Then again, there’s no one in Cashman’s pipeline ready to step in and play a decent defensive game as a FT SS these days either…

      I’ll believe Jeter will shift to 3b when I see it.

      And it’s not like the Yanks couldn’t trade for or sign a temporary stopgap to play SS or 3B. Like they did when Dent and Pags left. :)

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