It seems we’re no more than a day away from learning if Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez is merely suspended for the rest of this season and all of 2014, or if he’s been permanently banished from the game. Putting aside for a moment the lack of due process, MLB’s culpability in this whole mess, and the ridiculous amount of pleasure this is giving one prominent CSTB contributor, Orioles manager Buck Showalter raises a pretty good point. To wit, why should the Yankees be allowed to wildly benefit from this? From USA Today’s Paul White:
Getting Rodriguez’s $25 million salary off their 2014 books would effectively reset a Yankees payroll projected to exceed a $189 million luxury tax threshold the club hoped to slip under. And if they’re freed from the $86 million owed Rodriguez from 2014 to ’17? Showalter fears Commissioner Bud Selig’s zeal to ban Rodriguez might turn the Yankees into free agent predators again.
“If Bud lets them get away with that, they’re under the luxury tax,” Showalter told USA TODAY Sports. “If they can reset, they can spend again and I guarantee you in two years Matt Wieters is in New York.”
Rodriguez’s on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) declined every season after 2007. A second hip surgery in January ensured he’d miss the first half of this season; the Biogenesis flap that broke weeks later put him in MLB’s firing line.
Now, it may give his team a get-out-of-jail-free card.
“They’re the ones who signed him to that contract,” Showalter said of the Yankees.