Sports: Yankees wonder: Can they get out of contract with PED cheater A-Rod?

Published by: Dan Calabrese on Wednesday January 30th, 2013

Dan Calabrese

By DAN CALABRESE - Is there a way everyone here can get screwed?

Now that Alex Rodriguez's name is popping up again in connection to the use of performance enhancing drugs, the Yankees see an opportunity - and if you were them, you'd be looking for one too.

Three sets of numbers tell the story:

1. A-Rod's contract has five years and $114 million remaining on it. That's an average of $22.8 million a year.

2. A-Rod hit .272 with 18 home runs and 57 RBIs in 2012. To put it in perspective, Delmon Young had a similar but slightly better year and he just signed with the Phillies for $700,000. A-Rod's salary is 32 times that much.

3. A-Rod is 37 years old. That means the Yankees are on the hook to play him and pay him until he's 42.

So sure, the Yankees would love to get out from under this albatross of a contract, especially after the guy spent much of the American League Championship Series hitting on girls in the stands - behavior that was actually less damaging to the Yankees than what he was doing on the field (especially at the plate).

But the Yankees were fools to ever give A-Rod this contract in the first place. They originally acquired him in 2004 under a deal in which the Texas Rangers agreed to pay half his ridiculous $25 million a year salary through 2007. Once that deal was up, I figured the Yankees would balk at giving him a new deal for anything near that kind of money, since they would be solely responsible for paying him. I was wrong. They actually went ahead and gave him a new 10-year, $275 million contract, in spite of the fact that he was already over 30.

Oh, by the way, according to A-Rod's past admissions, he used PEDs from 2001 through 2003 but then stopped. If you believe that line, then the Yankees were committing 10 years to a guy who would no longer be utilizing the method of cheating that had allowed him to be as productive as he was. If instead, you saw the following as the most insincere mea culpa in the history of the world, you probably figured he would keep right on juicing:

The tough question for me is this: Which would be better? For the Yankees to get stuck with this horrible contract? Or for A-Rod to lose out on the money? Is there a way for them both to happen? Because nothing warms my heart more than A-Rod's annual tank job when the Yankees are in the process of getting their heads handed to them by the Tigers in the playoffs. I will miss that when we can enjoy it no more.

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