The New York Yankees and Alex Rodriguez could be headed toward another legal showdown, as the New York Daily News reported Monday that the team will seek to void the milestone bonuses on his contract.
Rodriguez, who is fifth on the all-time home run list with 654, is set to earn a series of $6 million bonuses if/when he matches those above him on that list. Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714) and Willie Mays (660) are the top four, with Mays clearly in reach this season.
However, a source tells the Daily News that the Yankees now view the marketing bonuses as worthless and invalid because of A-Rod’s connection to performance-enhancing drugs and the Biogenesis scandal, which resulted in a season-long suspension in 2014. In addition, the report states that the Yankees are prepared to fight Rodriguez if he files a grievance with the players’ association.
This news should add another layer of awkwardness to the team’s spring training camp. The Yankees already have said that Rodriguez, who also is coming off a second hip surgery that limited him to 44 games in the 2013 season, no longer will be their starting third baseman. That job belongs to Chase Headley, whom the team re-signed during the offseason.
Rodriguez, who will turn 40 in July, has three years and $61 million remaining on his contract.
Rodriguez’s spokesman, Ron Berkowitz, declined comment to the Associated Press.
A-Rod met last week with Rob Manfred, who headed the investigation of the Biogenesis of the America clinic that led to the player’s suspension for violation of baseball’s drug agreement and labor contract.
“Occasionally when players have an issue, they have asked me for advice, come to see me, wanted to talk to me about something,” Manfred said Monday upon officially becoming MLB commissioner. “I don’t put a particular significance on this meeting. It was one of those things. A player wanted to come in. We had a brief meeting.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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