Do Yankees have exit strategy for A-Rod?

Do Yankees have exit strategy for A-Rod?
January 30, 2013, 9:15 am

Alex Rodriguez hasn’t been a sympathetic character for some time now, so the latest reports about him have ratcheted up the calls for A-Rod’s head.

Rodriguez has been implicated in the use of performance-enhancing drugs much more recently than his admitted taking of them earlier in his career. According to a report in the Miami New Times, Rodriguez was among the major-leaguers supplied with PEDs by an anti-aging clinic in south Florida, with his alleged use spanning the past three seasons. Rodriguez denies the report.

However, with the third baseman already expected to miss at least half and perhaps all of this season while recovering from hip surgery and his performance on the field not enhancing the Yankees, there is a drumbeat about the club finding a way to cut him loose without having to pay the $114 million still owed on his contract.

In fact, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes that this is a huge goal of the Yankees: “For if the allegations … turn out to be accurate — or worse — then a portal has been opened for the Yankees to accomplish a goal as large as winning the 2013 World Series because of what it means to their present and near future: Severing ties with Rodriguez and saving as much of the $114 million they owe him over the next five years as possible.”

Sherman calls such a move a “Hail Mary” because of how baseball’s alleged PED cheats have slipped away in the past, but something the Yankees must try because there’s no way A-Rod, 37, will be playing through the end of his contract in 2017 anyway.

“If he is not going to play for three months this year and perhaps not play at all in, say, 2016-17, then what do the Yankees have to lose at this point going after Rodriguez? It is not as if they would be casting out the MVP who signed the 10-year extension following the 2007 campaign. The Yankees want a diminished player and major distraction to vanish.”

In the meantime, the Yankees have to be glad Rodriguez won’t be around and they can just deal with controversies like whether his replacement, Kevin Youkilis, has returned a phone call from Joba Chamberlain.