Two days ago, Brian Cashman told a reporter that Alex Rodriguez should "shut the fuck up" after the injured third baseman tweeted that he'd been cleared to play in games. (Cashman later apologized for his language but not his message.) But the situation has now devolved into a total circus, with three outlets reporting different plans for how A-Rod and the Yankees could end their relationship. Spoiler alert: Possible insurance shenanigans abound!
ESPN New York says ...
A-Rod believes the Yankees are intentionally slowing his return so he'll be declared medically unable to play, allowing them to collect insurance money. If you believe this one, Cashman's STFU comment makes perfect sense. The Yankees don't want A-Rod to return this year, so a tweet suggesting he could be playing in games soon would make it much harder to keep him off the field. ESPN New York's source says A-Rod believes the Yankees don't want him back in 2013, or perhaps ever. If he was declared medically unable to play in 2013, they'd collect 80 percent of his salary through insurance. The source says that A-Rod believes the Yankees hope time will run out for him to return in 2013, or that the league will hand down a long suspension as a result of A-Rod's alleged connection with Biogenesis. Brian Cashman denies that the Yankees don't want A-Rod to return.
"Alex thinks it's all about the insurance," says ESPN New York's source. "How could it not be?"
The Daily News says ...
A-Rod believes "Major League Baseball's drug posse" (their words, not his) are closing in on him, and he wants to get into rehab games as soon as possible. Then, according to the News' sources, A-Rod could claim he's physically unable to play because of his hip, "retire" (their use of quotes), and collect all of the remaining $114 million he's owed. According to the paper, if he retires because he's physically unable to play, he would still get all of his money, even if he's suspended. (Years ago, a player like Albert Belle had to stay on the DL for the remainder of his contract to collect all of his money, but now players can retire and still collect their money.) For some reason, the News is compelled to point out that if A-Rod "is given a lifetime ban, he would not be able to re-enter the game in any capacity." Could someone please get the Daily News a copy of the collective bargaining agreement? This isn't the first time they've more or less ignored its existence.
"It’s all about him getting his money and not losing it to suspension," says the Daily News' source.
The Post says ...
A-Rod has already told the Yankees he isn't ready to play in games. Otherwise, though, this report is similar to the one in the Daily News. The Post's source "heard speculation" that A-Rod could use the hip injury as an excuse to retire. He'd then collect all $114 million owed to him, and the Yankees would collect 80 percent of that from insurance. It also notes that A-Rod "would avoid a possible suspension by MLB in the Biogenesis mess."
"He is not ready to play in games," said a Post source. "He is worried about his health."