Sources close to Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez say that he is rushing to get back on the baseball field before Major League Baseball suspends him for performance-enhancing drugs.
If Rodriguez, who is recovering from a serious hip injury, starts playing again, he can claim that he is physically unable to perform and “retire” from the game. Theoretically he would then still be able to collect the full amount of his salary — $114 million over the next five years.
“It’s all about him getting his money and not losing it to suspension,” a source told The New York Daily News. “He knows he’s never going to the Hall of Fame. All that’s left for him is to make sure he gets his money — all of it.” Although it wasn’t always the case in the past, baseball now allows a player who is deemed physically unable to perform to retire and still collect his money.
Either way, it sounds as if MLB will try to suspend Rodriguez whether he retires or not. “It’s not going to have any effect on what or when MLB does something,” said a baseball source.
On Tuesday night, Rodriguez tweeted that Dr. Bryan Kelly, who performed his hip surgery in January, “gave me the best news — the green light to play games again!”
Yankee GM Brian Cashman, who had previously stated that only team doctors and trainers could clear Rodriguez for game action, fired back with a tweet of his own.
“You know what? When the Yankees want to announce something, we will. Alex should just shut the f--- up. That’s it. I’m going to call Alex now.”