The New York Yankees are planning to explore all options in voiding third baseman Alex Rodriguez’s contract, if Major League Baseball punishes him over the latest illegal performance-enhancing drug allegations, according to ESPNNewYork.com.
The Miami New Times reported Tuesday that Rodriguez was linked to a Miami “wellness clinic.” Nutritionist Anthony Bosch, who runs the clinic, is being investigated by MLB for selling performance-enhancing drugs to many MLB players. The newspaper obtained details and records of Rodriguez’s alleged PED transactions with Bosch.
For now, the Yankees are left to wait and see what transpires with the MLB investigations.
The Yankees “can’t do anything until the MLB investigation is concluded and they take action, if any,” a source told ESPNNewYork.com.
The Yankees are looking to void the remaining five years left on Rodriguez’s deal worth $114 million, but will find themselves in a difficult situation even if the charges are proven to be true. A baseball contract has never been voided due to PEDs.
ESPNNewYork.com also reported that the Yankees are looking at about 20 other breach-of-contract issues with Rodriguez. One concern is the three-time American League MVP receiving medical treatment from an outside doctor without the team’s permission.
But Rodriguez immediately addressed the allegations on Tuesday through a spokesperson.
“The news report about a purported relationship between Alex Rodriguez and Anthony Bosch is not true,” said a statement released by Sitrick & Company, Rodriguez’s publicist. “Alex Rodriguez was not Mr. Bosch’s patient, he was never treated by him and he was never advised by him. The purported documents referenced in the story — at least as they relate to Alex Rodriguez — are not legitimate.”
Miami criminal defense attorney Roy Black has been hired by Rodriguez.
Rodriguez will have quite a bit of explaining to do MLB if there is a connection to Bosch. The Miami New Times reported that Rodriguez’s name appeared in Bosch’s records 16 times for receiving human growth hormone and other PEDS banned by MLB.
If Rodriguez is found guilty of receiving PEDs and HGH from Bosch, the maximum punishment the Yankees could impose is the mandatory 50-game suspension for a first-time offender under baseball’s collective bargaining agreement.
“Baseball’s drug policy was specifically written so that teams can’t do things like this,” a source told the website. “You can’t use this to try to get out of the last years of a contract.”
The Yankees may have also hurt the chance of voiding Rodriguez’s contract because they chose to stick by his side after he publicly admitted in 2009 that he used PEDs from 2001 to 2003, while with the Texas Rangers.
“We fully support the Commissioner’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program,” the Yankees said Tuesday. “This matter is now in the hands of the Commissioner’s Office. We will have no further comment until that investigation has concluded.” The statement did not mention Rodriguez.
The 37-year-old Rodriguez, whose hip surgery will keep him sidelined until after the All-Star break, has had a strenuous last couple of seasons with the Yankees. He was benched last season during the playoffs and has had run-ins with Yankees coach Joe Girardi.
Rodriguez may have seen his last days in a pin-stripe uniform pending the MLB investigation and may have extinguished any chances of reaching the Baseball Hall of Fame.