Facing another PED allegation and recovery from major hip surgery, Alex Rodriguez may have played his final game in New York.
According to Matt Snyder of CBS Sports, the Yankees are looking into possibly voiding the remaining five years on Rodriguez’s contract, saving the team $114 million in cap space.
However, Snyder added that there are roadblocks that will likely prevent this move from happening. All repercussions from drug use must come from Major League Baseball, not an individual team, and there has not been any hard evidence that Rodriguez was involved with this PED report.
Regardless of the outcome of this buyout, A-Rod is still out at least until the all-star break following his off-season hip surgery. The Yankees signed Kevin Youkilis in December to replace him at third base and have Eduardo Nunez coming off the bench as a backup.
But do the Yankees really need A-Rod? Rodriguez has been on the decline ever since New York won a World Series in 2009, and A-Rod has not shown any signs of life over the past three seasons.
Rodriguez, a career .300 hitter, has failed to record a batting average over .280 since 2009. He has totaled 34 home runs over the past two seasons compared to the 35 he had in 2008 and 54 he had in 2007.
With Youkilis in the lineup the Yankees will get a great clubhouse guy who has a tremendous ability to get on base and play the infield. Youk has a career 0.67 BB/K ratio compared to Rodriguez’s .60 and also has the ability to play first base on the off chance that Mark Teixeira needs a night off.
Doing away with Rodriguez would also take some of the drama away from an organization that has been a target for news coverage since they traded for A-Rod in 2004. Every move Rodriguez has made from using steroids to hitting on women in the stands has brought unnecessary press to the team and has become a major distraction over the years.
The Yankees already made a statement this off-season by letting Nick Swisher and Russell Martin walk rather then giving them big contracts, so it would not be surprising if New York finds a way to cut ties with A-Rod. The team may have been able to get over the first steroids allegation, but the second time may be the final straw.
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