In 2009, it was discovered that Alex Rodriguez had taken steroids, while playing with the Texas Rangers.
The slugger denied every using a banned substance with the New York Yankees. Even as early last year, A-Rod insisted that he had been clean, ever since joining the club in 2004.
Now, evidence has come to light that could prove Rodriguez’s use of performance-enhancing drugs went far beyond his time with Texas.
An article published by the Miami New Times accuses the three-time MVP of purchasing PED’s in the last few years. He reportedly had a doctor prescribe him HGH, among other PED’s, beginning in 2009. Rodriguez has denied the allegations.
Rodriguez is owed $114 million over the next five years. Even before the news broke, the Yankees had been hoping to rid themselves of the third baseman’s contract, though it did not seem like a realistic possibility. With the recent developments, New York is exploring the possibility of voiding Rodriguez’s deal.
According to ESPNNewYork.com, the team plans on “exploring multiple avenues in an attempt to void the star third baseman’s contract.” A source tells the Web site that the organization is “looking at about 20 different things,” including if Rodriguez did something illegal and whether or not he breached his contract by receiving outside medical treatment without the team’s permission.
It isn’t likely that the Yankees would be able to get rid of Rodriguez at no cost. They will have to wait for the MLB to conclude its investigation. Rodriguez has never been suspended for violating the league’s PED policy, and would likely just miss 50 games if he’s found guilty of cheating.
The Yankees dream of voiding Rodriguez’s contract may not be realistic, but the slugger’s future is still in question. If Rodriguez isn’t suspended, he still could miss the entire season. After undergoing hip surgery, he will miss at least half of 2013. General Manager Brian Cashman has not ruled out the possibility of the third baseman missing the entire year.
In the 2012 playoffs, Rodriguez was a shell of his old self. He registered a .120 batting average against the Baltimore Orioles and Detroit Tigers, and played so poorly that he was eventually benched in the ALCS. Coming off hip surgery, there was already a chance that Rodriguez could be heading towards the twilight of his career. If the Yankees star struggled while using PED’s, will he be able to perform without them?
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports has suggested that there’s a chance Rodriguez’s days in the MLB are over. The third baseman is 37 years old, with two surgically repaired hips. It will be nearly impossible for him to return to his old form, and his performance in the postseason has suggested that his days of being an everyday player might be coming to an end.
“He wants to be Alex. He wants to be the star,'' a source told Heyman. If Rodriguez can no longer produce at a high level, could he walk away from the game?
After signing the largest contract in sports history with the Texas Rangers, Rodriguez certainly doesn’t need the money. His constant use of PED’s, even after getting caught, might suggest that he doesn’t feel he can succeed without them.
A lot still has to be sorted out with these latest allegations. Rodriguez has hired famous lawyer Roy Black, and claims he was never treated by the doctor who supposedly provided him with the drugs. New York probably won’t be able to void his contract, and no team would dare make a trade for him. If A-Rod still wants to play baseball, the Yankees are likely stuck with him.
However, the 2013 season is still a few months away, and there’s at least a chance that Rodriguez has played his last game in pinstripes.