By now, everyone has heard the news of Alex Rodriguez being given a 162-game suspension by federal arbitrator Frederic Horowitz, a ban that is a reduction of the original 211-game suspension handed down to him back in August by Major League Baseball for his alleged involvement in the Miami Biogenesis case for purchasing and using performance enhancing drugs.
With his suspension, if it is upheld which some think it will, it would take Rodriguez out for all of 2014, playoffs included and thus, be a second straight year where Rodriguez misses most, if not all of a season for the Yankees. A-Rod missed 118 games in 2013 due to recovering from surgery to repair a torn labrum in his hip back in January of 2013.
Some have wondered if Rodriguez's career will be over due to the fact that if he comes back to the sport and to the team, he will be 39 years old and a season removed from playing actual baseball, but that is if he doesn't play at all in 2014; although, A-Rod has vowed to be in Tampa for spring training for the Yankees; something he is allowed to do under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Now, the question everyone is wondering; will Alex Rodriguez ever return to the Yankees and play again in the pinstripes?
He's still owed another three years and $61 million, all of which is guaranteed money owed to him from the 10 years and $275 million deal he signed with the Yankees back in December of 2007. $25 million of that deal will not be paid from the Yankees because he will be suspended for 2014.
Now, the Yankees could try to buy out the rest of his deal and attempt a negotiation of a release of his contract, but why would Rodriguez even want to do that, considering that $61 million is all fully guaranteed to him. Sure, the Yankees can release him, but then they are also paying him $61 million to sit at home, and if the Yankees are going to pay him, they may as well pay him to be on the field and producing with his bat, no matter what kind of distraction and media circus he might be.
Maybe A-Rod will have a change of heart during this time and just walk away from the sport and choose to go away and enjoy spending time with his daughters and girlfriend Torrie Wilson down in Miami, but when is being out of the spotlight ever something A-Rod wants to do since he craves the spotlight; it's not a knock on Rodriguez, but lets call a spade a spade, A-Rod loves the attention that he gets.
What the Yankees might want to understand is that they should love the attention A-Rod gets as well, because even at 38 or 39-years-old, A-Rod still draws attention and is still a must-see attraction; his return to the team in August of 2013 saw a tremendous boost in ratings for the YES Network during their disappointing season, and the Yankees know this, so maybe they won't buy out Rodriguez, but instead hold onto him for 2015 and hope he can still be a productive player even after being away from a year.
Tags: A-Rod, Alex Rodriguez, Baseball, MLB, New York, New York Yankees