Even though he is owed $114 million over the next five years, Alex Rodriguez is reportedly unlikely to play another game for the New York Yankees.
According to Bill Madden, Christian Red and Teri Thompson of the New York Daily News, regardless of what happens with the new performance-enhancing drug charges levied against him, Rodriguez's hip may prevent him from playing again.
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.
UPDATE: Thursday, Jan. 31, at 4:35 p.m. ET by Tyler Conway
Don't go drawing up retirement papers for A-Rod just yet, folks. According to ESPN's Wallace Matthews and Andrew Marchand, sources close to the slugger have indicated he has no plans of retiring this offseason:
"Alex has no plans at all to retire,'' one source with close personal ties to the embattled third baseman told ESPNNewYork.com on Thursday.
Another source, authorized by Rodriguez to speak on his behalf, passed this along: "Alex says he's working diligently on his rehabilitation and is looking forward to getting back on the field as soon as possible.''
Though that doesn't necessarily preclude Rodriguez from changing his mind down the line, it doesn't look like retirement is currently anywhere near his mind.
---End of update---
There has been a lot of talk about Rodriguez's future since the Miami New Times published a story about the Yankees star's possible connection to an anti-aging clinic that is said to have been deep into providing athletes with steroids and performance-enhancing drugs.
Andrew Marchand and Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York reported that the Yankees were looking into the possibility of voiding Rodriguez's contract.
However, that seems unlikely because there is no precedent for it, Major League Baseball would have to conduct its own investigation into the matter and then the Yankees would have to go through the proper channels, including the Players' Union, to get the deal voided.
But if Rodriguez's hip injury, for which he had surgery on Jan. 16, becomes a lingering issue, it could provide an outlet for the Yankees to be rid of him without having to wait.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman stated in a radio interview that it was possible Rodriguez could miss the entire 2013 season, then corrected himself by saying that scenario was "not likely."
Hip injuries are of grave concern to baseball players. Everything you do on the field and in the batter's box revolves around being able to rotate your torso left and right. Rodriguez's rehab and recovery will be a major story that dominates the baseball season.