A-Rod Notes: Spring Training, Independent Ball

After news of Alex Rodriguez's suspension broke yesterday, A-Rod continues to occupy the headlines today, in part because of 60 Minutes' interviews with Tony Bosch, Bud Selig, MLB's Rob Manfred and Rodriguez's attorney Joe Tacopina. You can watch the segment here. Here's more on the A-Rod saga.

  • The group best positioned to prevent A-Rod from attending spring training is his Yankees teammates, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes. Since Rodriguez's suspension will prevent him from playing for the Yankees in 2014, his presence at spring training does not benefit the team. Instead, Sherman says, "[t]his would be about tweaking MLB and/or the Yankees while making sure to avoid what he dreads so much — irrelevancy." He would be a distraction. Sherman suggests that Rodriguez's teammates, perhaps led by Derek Jeter, could ask A-Rod not to attend spring training. If he refuses, Yankees players could explain their preferences to the media.
  • Releasing Rodriguez wouldn't make sense, Sherman says, because A-Rod will have to take additional drug tests in the coming year. If he were to fail a test, or face any other kind of additional punishment, the Yankees would be off the hook for even more salary.
  • One potential obstacle to Rodriguez playing independent baseball this summer is that the Yankees still control his rights, USA Today's Bob Nightengale writes. That means they can, say, send him to their spring training facility in Tampa and have him work out there. He needs the Yankees' permission to play elsewhere, and the Yankees can help avoid a "sideshow" by denying him that privilege.

68 Responses to A-Rod Notes: Spring Training, Independent Ball Leave a Reply

  1. Zak A 2 years ago

    I thought Jeter and A-Rod were not friends? How would Jeter asking A-Rod to stay home actually amount to anything? I think he goes to Spring Training, keeps in shape, plays somewhere while suspended and attempts to play again in 2015.

    • DMoney1184 2 years ago

      Where would he play? Japan and Korea are out, they follow MLB’s drug policy. Independent league? Not unless he wants to risk voiding the remaining $61 million guaranteed on his contract and even if you have millions upon millions in the bank, $61 million is a lot to risk losing.

    • Leonard Washington 2 years ago

      It would be a huge PR hit for A-Rod. Derek Jeter is unanimously respected throughout baseball and him saying no to A-Rod would move the NY fans further away from A-Rod than they already are. And it A-Rod didn’t comply it would just further display his selfishness. And lets face facts wether you love, hate, or are indifferent to A-Rod he is a distraction and a side show at this point so why would Jeter let him hurt the team???

      • Zak A 2 years ago

        He’s got that T.O. negative effect I guess, but both were/are still better than half of the bums that are sent out there everyday to play. Would it necessarily void his contract? I honestly don’t know what a suspended player can and cannot do according to MLB rules. MLBPA will never let them void his $61MM contract b/c of the president it’d set going forward. Once you turn one guaranteed contract into a non-gauranteed one, it’s a slippery slope until it’s the NFL contract style.

  2. Anthony Cunningham 2 years ago

    At this point, wouldn’t some kind of deal make the most sense both for Rodriguez and the Yankees? They are still on the hook for the $61 million. If you were in the Yankees’ shoes, wouldn’t you be inclined to pay him half of that figure just to go away? And if you are Rodriguez, might you not want to know for sure that you have that money in the bank and if somehow, someway someone else wants you, you can go play there in 2015?

    • GD 2 years ago

      No way! Yankees need to be on the hook for his entire salary. For the past 25 years the Yanks have been buying all these top All-Stars during the steroid era in the 80’s and 90’s. They knew all this was going on, and just overlooked all of this just for the championships.

      Oh and I think A-Rod should be banned for life, but the Yankees pay the entire $61m, but instead of it going to A-Rod it should go to national charities preventing drug abuse, etc.

      Maybe this would enforce teams into crack down on preventing players using drugs, etc.

      • BadBJay 2 years ago

        no offense, but I think your idealism is getting in the way here. If you penalize the Yankees, you should penalize all the other teams for paying PED-using ball players. And that won’t happen. Barry Bonds is still the single-season home run king. Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire’s stats are still in the books. It’s one big mess to turn back time and rewrite what was wrong. Pitchers will also want their ERAs re-calculated from all the players who hit home runs off them, etc etc. In the end, it’s MLBs fault for not acting sooner and taking care of business. If you’re talking about *just money*, MLB will not want to harm any of its assets (read: it’s teams). They would rather move on.

      • livestrong77nyyankz 2 years ago


        • DMoney1184 2 years ago

          Your source for saying A-Rod used? Or McGwire or Bonds or Clemens? This is the problem, both with active players and the Hall of Fame ballot. We know so little for sure. We have so few positive tests, so little concrete proof of who used and who didn’t. Are you going to take away the Giants 2002 NL pennant because of Bonds? The Red Sox World Championships of ’04, ’07 and ’13 because of Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz? The rules have to apply to everyone or no one. You can’t have it both ways.

          • livestrong77nyyankz 2 years ago

            Okay? I’m of the same belief.

          • Leonard Washington 2 years ago

            Ortiz was listed in 03 for an unnamed violation and has never failed a test so let it go god literally nobody has any real info on that. And Mannys career numbers suggest he started using in his decline not his prime and before. He never gained bulbous proportions or any of the other tell tale signs. But hey believe what you want. I happen to think titles are titles. No team in the running or winning em was drug free of that I am sure. And steroids were not created in the 90’s people they have been around in sports since the 50’s so lets focus on the problem at hand rather than trying to undercut the achievements of the clean players by ranting on and on about the ones that cheated.

          • MB923 2 years ago

            Nobody has any info on Ortiz and most of the others because it’s all sealed under court order. Ortiz said back then he would find out what he tested positive for. This was over 4 years ago. Just last year, Ortiz himself made a statement he still does not know what he tested positive for back then.

          • East Coast Bias 2 years ago

            For clarity’s sake, ARod has never failed a test, yet here you are in a thread about him. How about take your own advice?

            If Ortiz is innocent, then why hasn’t he proven it yet? Do you, and he, not realize that if you’re on the report, you’re guilty, unless you can prove you are innocent. Fun fact: No one has proven they were innocent yet. I am certain Ortiz won’t be the first. Or he would have done so already.

            And I would love to see how you parse information to decipher when Manny started using banned substances.

            It’s obvious they both juiced. Your championships are also tainted. You’re living in denial.

          • Leonard Washington 2 years ago

            Well in a world where just being big is enough to call someone guilty (Bagwell) you can taint just about every title since the 50’s. And if they are all tainted than none of them are tainted. So try to live life with the cup half full. it takes an entire roster to make the playoffs and a roster to win a title. And for clarities sake I never went after A-Rod in my comments on this thread so I was taking my own advice,

          • East Coast Bias 2 years ago

            No. It’s not all. It was the players specifically listed in the Mitchell report, or those who have been caught. Don’t paint with a broad brush.

            Sure, there are others that cheated and did not get caught.

            But it’s silly to say since a few players got caught, all of them are cheaters. Ortiz was in the report. Manny got suspended. Both have not denied it. The Red Sox’s best players were on banned substances during their ’04 and ’07 championships.

            It’s delusional to think otherwise. All I’m saying is… accept reality. THEN move on and talk about the issue or whatever. But not before accepting the truth.

      • MB923 2 years ago

        “They knew all this was going on, and just overlooked all of this just for the championships.”

        LOL this is all I keep hearing yet nobody has provided any source at all that says such a thing

        • Daniel Franklin 2 years ago

          Do you really believe that the Yankees would be foolish enough to TRULY come out and say “Yes, we knew A-Rod was juicing”??

          • MB923 2 years ago

            Of course they would be, but where is the proof that they knew is what I am asking.

            Even if they did know, I don’t understand the point or the argument. Cards just gave 4 years/$50+ mil to a proven user. Yankees gave (a 10x worse) 10 year/$275 mil to A-Rod after 07. Let us assume they knew of A-Rod’s guilt. How is 1 different than the other?

        • DMoney1184 2 years ago

          ChampionshiP, unless you’re suggesting this goes back to the Tino Martinez/Bernie Williams/Paul O’Neill/Scott Brosius days and those guys did not look and did not put up numbers to suggest that they were on anything.

          • Leonard Washington 2 years ago

            Clemens, Chuckie, and Andy tho.

      • BadBJay 2 years ago


      • LazerTown 2 years ago

        Stop blaming the teams. It is Arod’s fault if Arod used steroids. It is MLB’s fault for not working harder to rid the sport of the drugs. It isn’t the team’s fault, they are all in their best interest. Do you really think if the Yankees hadn’t signed him for that contract that he wouldn’t be playing in baseball anymore?

    • DMoney1184 2 years ago

      I can’t imagine there’s much of a market for A-Rod at this point. Let’s do something we haven’t done much of now, for about 2 years: talk about A-Rod, the ball player. Last season, even coming off of his second hip surgery, he hit .248/.348/.423 with 7 homers, 19 RBIs and 4/6 SBs. I think, if he can stay healthy, he could still hit a baseball with some proficiency (I actually reminds me of what Kevin Costner’s character said about the banned Shoeless Joe Jackson in Field of Dreams–something about how he was found in an independent league a few years later and he had put on a lot of weight and his knees were shot but man, he could still hit) but he can’t seem to stay healthy enough if he’s playing third. So he’s limited to DH. A DH with a lot of baggage, whom fans will not buy tickets to watch as/if he can get close to some legendary names (6 homers shy of Willie Mays). Yeah, can’t see another team taking a flier on him, even for the league minimum.

      • Anthony Cunningham 2 years ago

        I agree that no other team would probably want him. If they didn’t want Bonds when he was still a very good hitter (28 homers and 1.045 OPS in his last year), I doubt they’ll want Rodriguez (even though he’d be a few years younger than Bonds, he hasn’t posted an OPS close to that figure since 2007). I say this provided the league really sees him as a black sheep (like Bonds). And maybe Rodriguez really will relish being a thorn in the side of the Yankees for the rest of the contract. Nonetheless, unless he just wants to spite them, I would think he’d be glad to have his freedom for a partial chunk of the money, and I’d think they’d love to save whatever they can save. I would in their shoes. How the money would play out in terms of luxury tax purposes and such might be another issue.

        • LazerTown 2 years ago

          Very few people will walk away from $30M. You keep talking about how the Yankees would like it, but it simply will not happen.

    • MB923 2 years ago

      I”m hoping that’s what they do after this year honestly. Better of paying him out and having him go away. Assuming they are allowed to do that, it also saves them more money because then they wouldn’t have to pay him those ridiculous bonuses for the HR milestones, something which actually counts towards the payroll and luxury tax should he reach any of them (likely he’d reach Mays at 660. A-Rod has 654)

      • LazerTown 2 years ago

        I don’t think it makes sense.
        His salary is already a fixed cost, there is no changing it.
        $6M is tough for the first one, but if he makes it to 714 that means he was healthy, and $6M extra for a player who hit 54 hr between the milestones is a bargain.

        • MB923 2 years ago

          None of that would have to happen if they buy out his contract is what I am saying. Or at least I assume it would not.

      • Chris Smeenk 2 years ago

        The Players Association will never let the Yankees buy-out his contract for less than the full amount.

        • MB923 2 years ago

          The full amount is $61 million excluding incentives. If they paid him out, there is obviously Zero chance they pay him more than that. They wouldn’t pay him for incentives he did not reach

    • pft2 2 years ago

      Why would he sacrifice 30 million to play for someone for much less? He is likely to be blackballed anyways, like Bonds was. The money is guaranteed. So long as he does nothing stupid like getting suspended again. Also, the MLBPA is unlikely to approve any pay cuts. If they did, he would be playing for the Red Sox

    • LazerTown 2 years ago

      Why would he only want half though?
      $30M is a lot of money to give up, and that is before any bonuses. After a year away there is no way he would be able to get a deal anywhere close to making up that money.

      He has a guaranteed contract, why would he want to give it up.

    • bjsguess 2 years ago

      A-Rod isn’t going to take half that to just go away. He’s already been shamed. How much lower can his stock sink? Might as well collect the $61M that he is owed.

      I could see something where he might take $50M to go away but even then I’m not sure that is enough.

  3. DMoney1184 2 years ago

    “If he were to fail a test”…MLB does not have a failed drug test by A-Rod on record. They have never caught him via test, period. Why would A-Rod be so careless as to get caught failing a drug test now, when he’s going to be out for the season?

  4. Anthony 2 years ago

    What doesn’t make sense to me after watching the 60 Minutes episode is that Bosch claimed that Rodriquez had put out a hit out on him (and MLB believed him and provided security to prevent his murder), and yet MLB only gave Rodriquez a 162 game suspension and not a life-time ban? If Rodriquez had actually constructed a plan to kill Bosch this would call for an all-out criminal investigation, but I don’t see that happening. Anyone else have thoughts on this?

    • In the interview, Bosch claimed that associates of ARod first asked him to go to Colombia until this blew over, he said that sounded fishy so he said no, then the next day they warned him that something bad could happen, it wasn’t a direct threat of bodily harm, more of a nudge and a wink sort of thing. MLB was interested in getting the information Bosch had, and if you saw the whole interview, he had detailed texts of what substances to take and when. It was all very detailed and clear that ARod was doing exactly what MLB claimed he was doing. MLB then put pressure on Bosch to testify and gave him whatever immunity they could offer (money, security and a promise to defend him against future lawsuits). The guy isn’t the most up-standing citizen for sure, but with the detail he offered, he was very believable. It’s up to a criminal prosecutor to decide if any actual laws were broken. Bosch would also have to go to a prosecutor himself to allege the threat on his life before action could be taken. He seems pretty well setup with MLB, so he probably isn’t going that route.

    • pft2 2 years ago

      Thats not what he said though. It was an anonymous tweet to his girl friend. He also said something about an “associate” making threats. Arod can not be held responsible for any overzealous associates. Also, if there was truth here, the Feds would have charged someone, and it’s still being “investigated:.

      If Arod does get linked during the course of the investigation, he could face an additional suspension. No evidence that’s going to happen, but maybe if MLB pays his associate more than Arod they can get him to turn on him like they did Bosch ,

  5. Quikmix 2 years ago

    The PED saga in baseball has been nothing BUT distraction for the past decade+.

    A-Rod is just a symptom to a larger problem that MLB still hasn’t figured out how to address properly.

    • hediouspb 2 years ago

      Ummmmm…… Isn’t the guy suspended for a season as part of their clean up?

  6. KnowledgeDivine 2 years ago

    Y’all don’t get it , AROD will go at the Yankees cause the mess is personal!! Stuff was said behind the scenes and he wants it known this Org. is no victim. Again as long as Randy Levine is still employed with the team it will be ugly.

    • hediouspb 2 years ago

      I agree. Cut him. There is a good chance he’ll be useless after a year off anyways.

  7. jjs91 2 years ago

    Why are we assuming to players get distracted so easily? The circus when he debuted disappeared after a gm or two. Might last longer in spring training because there’s nothing else to write about then again the games don’t matter so what would it distract them from? It also does matter to him that he plays if he wants to continue his career in a year he would actually have some actual at bats in the year 2014, otherwise he has nothing, especially if he’s allowed to stay in extended spring training.

    • BadBJay 2 years ago

      players will get distracted if they are asked about A-Rod each day. Add to that, his alleged proposal to rat out other players to cut a deal. That’s why Dempster plunked him.

      • pft2 2 years ago

        Better than being asked about their own performance last year

        • jjs91 2 years ago

          Ya if i’m teix i might prefer being asked about arod than having to answer ten questions about my wrist.

    • pft2 2 years ago

      The players hang around for a few hrs in the morning and then are off fishing or swimming. Then games start and they are worried more about their own performance. They could care less. If a reporter asks they say I don’t know, ask Arod and move on.

  8. BadBJay 2 years ago

    A-Rod juiced but still no indictment. He won’t admit it and MLB wants him to shut up for fear of revealing more information about other players, discussions with the yankees on this matter, and talks with MLB. The Yankees don’t want to pay him anymore because he’s damaged goods. The Yankees are also a major asset of MLB – they are not a stand-alone private corporation separate from the MLB umbrella. No one wants to take this to the courts for fear of revealing everything.

  9. pft2 2 years ago

    I don’t get the big deal about him going to ST. So he is suspended for 162 games. he is still on the payroll for 21 days and will make more than 1/2 the players (3 million).

    If he wants to work out in ST, let him. Its not like Girardi is going to play him in any games. The ST may help keep him sharp for 2015

    After awhile reporters are going to be bored asking him the same questions. I don’t see the distraction really. The talk of it just makes it a bigger deal than it would have been otherwise. Last year was probably a bigger distraction because of the uncertainty of when he would return and for how long.

    Of course, if the Yankees just release him they don’t have to worry about anything, but they are probably hoping for future salary relief if he gets suspended again And if they sign Tanaka then reporters will have a new toy and nobody will notice Arod.

    • Cam Hodgson-Dwyer 2 years ago

      Good in theory but..I don’t think Spring Training in 2014 is going to “keep him sharp” for a year later.

      The Yanks really have nothing to gain by letting him take part. A minute or an at-bat for A-Rod is a minute or an at-bat wasted. Nothing he can do at spring training will have any real bearing on any possible performance for 2015.

    • LazerTown 2 years ago

      It’s the Yankees. I think only 3 of them make less than $3M

      • DMoney1184 2 years ago

        Brett Gardner, David Robertson, all of the relievers except for Mariano Rivera, Jayson Nix (last year, he’s since signed with the Marlins or someone), Eduardo Nunez, Zolio Almonte (who should probably be the fourth outfielder this year but Ichiro has the bigger contract and name but maybe we’ll get lucky and he’ll get dealt), Ivan Nova.

    • NoAZPhilsPhan 2 years ago

      Timing will be key. A-Rod’s legal team plans on filing an injunction to delay the suspension. There is a very slim chance they will succeed (there is an even slimmer chance his appeal will make it to Fed. court for reasons I have stated before). If they do by chance find a judge who is an A-Rod fan or is seeking publicity they might succeed in obtaining an injunction but it will be overturned on appeal within a week or two. Here is were timing comes in. If they are serious about an injunction they will file for it this week and the scenarios I mentioned will all work out before ST ever starts and A-Rod will not be eligible to play in 2014. If they delay for several weeks then it is obviously a thinly veiled attempt to get Alex into ST under the pretext that he needs to be ready for the season. A delay in filing will be another transparent attempt to show that Alex loves the game (the game he and his ego have disrespected and tarnished) and to try, unsuccessfully, to boost his image. ST this year will not keep him sharp for 2015, that is insane on the face of it. Just like hitting, it is all about timing.

      • northsfbay 2 years ago

        Does ARod have to testify in a lawsuit?

        • NoAZPhilsPhan 2 years ago

          It all depends which suit. If some publicity seeking fed judge takes on the appeal….no. it would only be a review of Horowitz. as to his other law suits that he has filed again the answer is no as he is the one filing. The most interesting scenario is the Fed. investigation that is currently going on against Bosch. If (hopefully when) that goes to court there is an darn good chance that A-Rod and others Bosch sold to will be compelled to testify. For the first time Alex will have to testify under oath or face contempt charges.

  10. Ace Simmons 2 years ago

    What a disaster Arod has made out of his career. Of course he has his millions of dollars to console himself with. But by the time this is all said and done, Arod will get no HOF, and no legacy. Which I believe he has always wanted. He is a punchline to a joke.

  11. Mike1L 2 years ago

    Does it really matter whether he shows up or not?

  12. BROC 2 years ago

    A-Rod sues MLB and union to get ban overturned….

  13. BitLocker 2 years ago

    The only one who ruined A-Rod was A-Rod.

  14. johnsilver 2 years ago

    Don’t think NY could make a new club rule even stating that suspended players were not allowed to partake in club events. The MLBPA would raise a stink.

    Perhaps there is a way for the league to shove this onto the MLBPA’s lap and just say “maybe the MLBPA should have a training facility for suspended players”. After all, the association didn’t mind attempting to hold barn storming games a couple of times when they were striking.

  15. DMoney1184 2 years ago

    Conspiracy theory (appropriately enough) on steroids.

  16. livestrong77nyyankz 2 years ago

    My thoughts exactly, I mean don’t you go to the police first if you’re threatened?

  17. Daniel Franklin 2 years ago

    You’ve never seen a single cop show/movie, have you?? The bad guys almost always know when you go to the cops. I don’t recall any in which they know when you go to MLB.

  18. livestrong77nyyankz 2 years ago

    This is pretty true so thanks for shedding light on the subject. When I come to think of it I would feel more protected by the likes of Bud Selig and Joe Torre than the police, that is as long as I’m not a reliever with Joe as my skipper.

  19. Daniel Franklin 2 years ago

    I’m not saying it’s not suspicious, but it is entirely believable. People don’t always think right when they are threatened, and the type of people that come and threaten you in that sort of manner are capable of pretty much anything.

    Plus, the most the police can do is put him under temporary protective custody (if they believed him), and help pursue a restraining order, which those types of bad guys would just ignore. Private security is generally more reliable than public.

  20. livestrong77nyyankz 2 years ago

    Maybe but I wouldn’t believe that for a second. It is possible though as you said.

  21. LazerTown 2 years ago

    But you would at least file a report with the pd.

  22. Daniel Franklin 2 years ago

    Ok, so you have your home and office tapped, your phone is bugged, and someone is outside your house watching your movements, and you believe your life to be in danger. If you truly believe your life to be in danger, would you go to the police only to be whacked as soon as you notify them?

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