Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 1/30/13
The news coming out of South Florida this week has not been good for Alex Rodriguez. But it may turn out quite well for the New York Yankees. Rodriguez is watching his legacy erode amid new allegations of performance-enhancing drug use, with evidence reportedly mounting that he used steroids much longer then he originally said. With the news, however, the Yankees may finally be able to rid themselves of the albatross that Rodriguez has become, ditching his poor production and huge contract. The most likely way the Yankees could split with Rodriguez, but not have to pay too much of the $114 million he is still owed, is by taking advantage of insurance the team has, according to reports. The team can use the insurance policy it has on Rodriguez’s contract to pay as much as 85 percent of his remaining money. The catch is that, to trigger the insurance, Rodriguez must miss an entire season for injury reasons, or have a doctor determine that he has sustained a career-ending injury, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Both are more likely now, though, with Rodriguez recovering from hip surgery that is expected to sideline him until at least August. Another route that the Yankees could take would be to void Rodriguez’s contract. Although a previous attempt to void a player’s contract due to performance-enhancing drug use, with Jason Giambi in 2004, was not successful for New York, the language in Rodriguez’s contract is different and could give the Yankees room to work, according to ESPN. The Yankees are limited by the league’s performance-enhancing drug use policies, which don’t allow teams to discipline players, including suspensions, according to the collective bargaining agreement. But by working off of Rodriguez’s injury and examining the implications of Rodriguez saying that he only used steroids from 2001 to 2003, which the new allegations contradict, the Yankees could use connected factors to get out of what they’re due to pay Rodriguez, according to ESPN. The team is “looking at about 20 different things” to sever ties with Rodriguez, ESPN reports, with what was once staunch support turning into increased feelings that Rodriguez must go.
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