Alex Rodriguez hit his 660th career home run Friday, tying Willie Mays for fifth on the all-time list. And for the first time this season, Yankees GM Brian Cashman has confirmed the team won’t pay A-Rod his $6 million bonus for the milestone, a bonus which was written into the contract Rodriguez signed in 2007.
Cashman’s contention is that the Yankees aren’t actually obligated to pay the sum. Here’s more, via ESPN:
“We have the right but not the obligation to do something, and that’s it,” said Cashman before Saturday’s Yankees-Red Sox game at Fenway Park. “We’re going to follow the contract as we follow all contracts, so there is no dispute, from our perspective.”
Apparently, the language in the contract calls for Rodriguez to receive $6 million each for hitting home runs 660, 714, 755, 762 and 763, according to Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York. The Yankees’s position is that because of A-Rod’s repeated run-ins with PED usage and year-long suspension, the team can no longer market his home runs as major achievements, and therefore do not have to pay the bonus. Essentially, they believe the milestones to no longer be valid. Back to Matthews:
“We’re going to honor our responsibilities of the contract,” Cashman said. “(But) how it’s been reported . . . and what the contract actually says are two different things. It’s not ‘you do this, you get that.’ It’s completely different. It’s not all of a sudden, we’re choosing not to do something. If we choose to pursue something we’ll choose to pursue it. If we choose not to, it’s our right not to. In both cases, we’re honoring the contract.”
It’s only a matter of time before the MLBPA steps in and tries to help A-Rod collect the bonus. The relationship between Rodriguez and the team has been strained for years. Amidst all of Rodriguez’s antics, he even sued the team physician in 2012. The Rodriguez circus may be long running, but it’s fun as hell, and it’s hilarious to picture Cashman regretting the whole ordeal even more every time Rodriguez hits a home run, even though he’s helping the team.
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