Yankees Seeking to Avoid Paying Potential $24 Million Bonus to A-Rod

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The New York Yankees have made it clear they are still unhappy with Alex Rodriguez despite his return.  A-Rod is preparing to return after a year-long suspension for admitted use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.  At the same time, the Yankees are avoiding contact with the player, hoping to give him as little time playing as possible, and seeking to void his milestones bonus contract.

Recently, the Yankees have given A-Rod the cold shoulder a few times.  They have made it clear that he will not return to third-base.  Instead, the only way he will make the team is as a designated hitter.  On top of that, they reportedly declined to meet with A-Rod when he reached out in an attempt to apologize and mend relationships after the steroid scandal.

But, the real kicker is the team’s plan to void a marketing contract it has with the former superstar.  In 2007, as a way to keep A-Rod on the team, the Yankees signed a marketing deal with him which based on the number of homeruns he hits.  Under the agreement, A-Rod will receive $6 million every time he ties one of the top four home run leaders’ records.  (A-Rod is currently in 5th place for all-time home runs)

To date, he has 654 homeruns – just 6 runs shy of Willie Mays who recorded 660.  Over Mays, the other records A-Rod can tie are Babe Ruth (714), Hank Aaron (755), and Barry Bonds (762).  If he manages to tie or break Barry Bond’s record, unless the Yankees find a way out of the deal, they will owe A-Rod a total of $24million on top of his player contract.  The bonuses under the marketing contract are separate from his player contract which still has three years and $61 million remaining.

The Yankees say they are prepared to contest the marketing deal if A-Rod files a grievance with the Major League Baseball Players Association.  They say the agreement is worthless and invalid because of his steroid use.  The team says it will argue that the deal was signed under false pretenses since he has admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs.

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