I know I'm not the only one who's already tired of all this A-Rod future talk, and I really hope I'm not the only one who's starting to get confused by all of it. I know it's not surprising for a story like this involving Rodriguez to get as much of a media frenzy going as it has, but it's insane how quickly the focus of the story keeps changing. First it was shock and anger that A-Rod could be stupid enough to do this again and get caught, if he actually did do it that is. Then it was all talk about voiding the contract, which is probably never going to happen, working a buyout, and/or forcing him to retire. Now we've moved on to just stating that not only is A-Rod never going to play for the Yankees again, but that he's never going to play baseball again according to this article from today's Daily News.
"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."
Numerous baseball sources, huh? Do any of these sources have medical degrees or did any of them participate in the surgery? Because every medical source that's been involved makes it sound like A-Rod is absolutely going to be able come back and play. And as Matt Imbrogno pointed out yesterday on one of our TYA email chains, a diminished A-Rod is still a pretty productive one compared to league averages for third baseman.
As for the "voiding the contract" talk, can that just be put to bed now? It's not going to happen. At all. The CBA governs all things PED related and has provisions written into it to protect players from having this exact proposed scenario (contract being voided based on PED use) play out. If the Yankees were smart enough to write language into Alex's contract that gave them a clear cut way out of the deal, we would have heard about it by now. They don't have a case to be made for voiding the deal, and A-Rod has no reason to voluntarily retire to help the Yankees and 114 million reasons to try to come back.
The best thing the Yankees can hope for, if they really want to rid themselves of Alex, is to negotiate a buyout, try to get it down as much as possible from 100% of the contract value to lessen the payroll hit, collect the 85% insurance, and move on. Anything other than that basically a pipe dream.