No one knows what Alex Rodriguez will be if and when he comes back in 2015. Probably little. Three serious hip procedures has so altered his natural running gait that part after part of his body will continually break down.
Buck Showalter this weekend wondered why the Yankees would be allowed under the luxury tax platform, given that they signed him. Now, Showalter thought he was speaking off the record, although Paul White of USA Today is a good man and a reputable reporter. Anyway, Showalter had to answer to many voices. Meanwhile, when the story hit, I got three texts, the first reading “God Bless Buck.”
“This goes way beyond Alex Rodriguez,” said one general manager. “Aren’t others held accountable? What about agents who broker contracts? What about the teams that sign players who get suspended? Why should the contracts not stand on their salary listing, even if they get out of the deal? Shouldn’t they be doing due diligence, and if they don’t, pay some cost?”
Remember before Rodriguez was traded to the Yankees, he was traded to the Red Sox with a player to be named later (Jon Lester) and Manny Ramirez. Then the Red Sox had a deal sending Nomar Garciaparra and a reliever to the White Sox for Magglio Ordonez and Brandon McCarthy.
The Players Association balked at the agreement Rodriguez, Scott Boras and Theo Epstein worked out to restructure his deal. Hence, it was cancelled. But not because Boston was wary of any possible PED involvement. Only money and the union.
“Maybe,” said another general manager, “if we were stuck with a bad contract because of PEDs we’d be more careful and it would be more difficult for suspected players to get signed.”
Teams will be a lot more careful now because of the threat that a player’s performance earns him a five year, $70M deal, he doesn’t want to lose a penny of it, goes cold turkey and returns to a .630 OPS.