In an article appearing in the Miami New Times by Tim Elfrink published on Tuesday, Rodriguez is the biggest name cited in a PED scandal originating in a Miami Clinic run by 49-year-old Anthony Bosch. A related story in the times shows pictures of every mention of the Yankees slugger in Bosch’s notebooks.
Since the news has broken, Rodriguez has reached out to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman denying any connection to Bosch or taking PEDs during the timeframe described in the Miami New Times story. Sherman posted the message on his Twitter feed, which read in its completion:
“The news report about a purported relationship between Alex Rodriguez and AnthonyBosch are not true. Alex Rodriguez was not Mr. Bosch’s patient; he was never treated by him. The purported documents referenced in the story—at least as they relate to Alex Rodriguez—are not legitimate.”
Since the news of his latest ties to performance-enhancing drugs, ESPN New York is reporting that the New York Yankees are looking at multiple ways to try and void Rodriguez’s remaining five years and $114 million left on his contract.
The piece—written by Wallace Matthews and Andrew Marchand—does point out that in baseball’s collectively bargained Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, section 7, paragraph M states the following:
“All authority to discipline Players for violations of the Program shall repose with the Commissioner’s Office. No Club may take any disciplinary or adverse action against a Player (including, but not limited to, a fine, suspension, or any adverse action pursuant to a Uniform Player’s Contract) because of a Player’s violation of the Program.”
In short, this means that just because A-Rod may in fact be found guilty of PED use the Yankees are extremely unlikely to be able to void his contract. The rule is written so teams cannot do things like this, just because they gave out poor contract.
For Red Sox fans, this is a good thing.
As MLB.com’s Tracy Ringolsby points out in a December 5, 2012 article, the Yankees have been trying to get their finances in order. They have posted seven consecutive seasons whereby the team payroll has exceeded $190 million, five of which accounting for $200 million or more. They’ve accounted for almost 84 percent of the luxury taxes paid since the rule's inception, and if they surpass the $189 million in 2013 the penalty is 50 percent of the excess.
Unlike the Red Sox, the Yankees will not have a team like the Dodgers to sweep in and financially rescue them. They have to be fiscally responsible if they want to get out from under all of the luxury tax penalties.
In a piece compiled by Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan, the Yankees are expected to have a payroll of around $212 million to start the 2013 season. That puts them $23 million over the $189 million threshold.
The team would have to payout some $11.5 million in luxury taxes.
However, if by some magic the team is allowed to void Rodriguez’s contract, suddenly they are automatically $5 million under the threshold, as A-Rod is slated to make $28 million in 2013—a season in which he may already miss all of due to injury.
While the impact may not be felt immediately, moving forward the Yankees will be able to spend money more freely once their finances are in order. This means the possibility of re-signing Robinson Cano and or Curtis Granderson at the end of the season. Additionally, it means that the Yankees can once again be spenders on the free-agent market.
This would put the team five years ahead in its plan for financial restructuring—something Red Sox fans don’t particularly want to see. In Boston, it has been nice watching the Yankees sit on their hands while the Josh Hamiltons and Zack Greinkes of the world signed elsewhere.
At this moment Red Sox fans can think back to the winter of 2003 heading into the 2004 season. Remember when you first heard the rumors that the team had traded away both Manny Ramirez and Nomar Garciaparra for Magglio Ordonez and Alex Rodriguez? As you all know, that deal fell apart and A-Rod went to New York, forever earmarking him a hated rival. Now, here he is, a disgraced Yankee and the team may very well have to live with him for five more years.
If you’re a Red Sox fan, there is nothing better than watching this ongoing circus in New York.
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