PED Report: Yankees Must Do Everything Possible to Void A-Rod's Contract
In the most recent installment of Rodriguez's futility of the past few seasons, Tim Efrink of The Miami NewTimes mentions Rodriguez as a recipient of performance-enhancing drugs from doctor Anthony Bosch in Miami.
This wasn't a one-time occurrence, though. Rodriguez was noted several times in Bosch's records, which were recovered and are being reviewed. A full list of the number of times his name was mentioned can be found here.
In the wake of this disappointment, the Yankees are reportedly exploring various different avenues regarding the termination of Rodriguez's contract (first reported by Wallace Matthews and Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York).
Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports has also shed some light on the situation. He tweeted on Tuesday that there's "standard language" in Rodriguez's contract that would make it nearly "impossible" to void it.
As for NYY hopes to void A-Rod's deal, I've been told there's only standard language in contract. Tough, if not impossible, to get around.— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) January 30, 2013
Even still, the Yankees will likely work hard to void the remaining $114 million on his contract and will wait until Major League Baseball finishes its investigation before taking any action.
The obstacles in voiding the contract are summed up fantastically in this excerpt from a piece by Matt Snyder of CBS Sports.
First of all, there are no precedents in place to void a contract over PED use, even among players who have failed a drug test -- which Rodriguez hasn't done. He has denied the allegations, as well.
Secondly, the MLB Players Association is one of the most powerful unions in the country and I doubt they'd take too kindly to seeing a member lose out on any money, much less a whopping nine figures.
Finally, as my colleague Danny Knobler noted on Twitter, baseball's drug agreement says all discipline on players must come from the league, not individual teams: "No club may take any adverse action" for a violation.
It's obvious that it will be no easy task to void this behemoth of a contract. Given the circumstances, though, there seems to be a sliver of hope.
If the Yankees are presented with a legitimate opportunity to void the contract, they need to explore any means necessary to get it done.
At 37 years old, Rodriguez is a shell of his former self. He has not been healthy for the past two seasons and stands to miss at least four months in 2013 after recovering from hip surgery. There's even a possibility that he misses the entire season.
Rodriguez's presence in the lineup, when healthy, has not exactly been beneficial to the team. He's hit just 34 home runs and drove in 119 runs in 221 games over the past two seasons.
Those used to be numbers that he would reach by September 1 and sometimes even before the middle of August.
Is it time to exploit any means necessary to get rid of Rodriguez?
To be fair, calling Rodriguez's career in New York a complete failure is not a valid statement. He won two MVP awards (2005 and 2007), led the team to the World Series championship in 2009 and produced seven seasons of at least 30 home runs and 100 RBI.
His recent postseason failures have killed the team since 2009, however.
In the five postseason series the Yankees have been a part of since the 2009 World Series, Rodriguez has posted batting averages of .273, .190, .111, .125 and .111, respectively. He's struck out 24 times in that span.
He's inability to escape the media has been an infamous part of his career as a Yankee. Whether it be the 2007 Mitchell Report reveal, or his various escapades with several different women, Rodriguez has made the back page of New York newspapers for more controversial things than good things.
The money that the Yankees will have to throw Rodriguez's way over the next five seasons is simply ludicrous, even for a player in the prime of his career.
For a 37-year-old veteran with declining skills, range and credibility, it's even more absurd.
While there's no timetable on a potential void of his contract, presumably it could be done by 2014. This would help to put the Yankees under their salary cap goal of $189 million, and could actually have immense implications on the following offseason.
With his money off the books, the Yankees can finally look to get younger and better. They'd have the resources necessary to reach out to big-ticket players while still staying under or near the $189 million goal.
It's clear that, in this situation, completely ridding themselves of Rodriguez would be the best thing to do for the Steinbrenner family, Brian Cashman and the Yankees in general.
If, by some minor miracle, they are given the opportunity to void his contract, the Yankees should jump at the chance and rid themselves of the chronic headache commonly known as "A-Rod."
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