After the initial tweet and belligerent response from Brian Cashman I mostly stayed away from the Alex Rodriguez business. It was just too much tabloid speculation and not a lot of good reporting. There is some great news though — Alex Rodriguez is ready to begin rehabbing on Tuesday with Low-A Charleston.
What’s even better is that he’s expected to play third base during his rehab. That’s a great sign because it shows they have enough faith in him to skip the entire DH process where he is rehabbing, but not on the field.
Hopefully this puts an end to the crap that’s been out there about him. It probably won’t, but if he’s playing, especially if he can hit some home runs, the tabloids can’t just spread insane stories based off quotes from unnamed sources.
Wondering what I’m talking about. Let’s do a quick rundown:
ESPNNY reported that A-Rod believes the Yankees do not want him to return this season, according to “a source”, and are deliberately trying to slow his rehab.
The Daily News reported that A-Rod’s trying to commit massive insurance fraud because he’s afraid of losing the $8 million or so a 50 game suspension would cost him. The “sources” say he’s trying to return ASAP only to say he’s physically unable to play and then will retire.
The Post reported that A-Rod wasn’t actually ready for rehab. They also have “a source” who they admit is speculating that he will try to use the hip problem to retire and, again, avoid suspension.
Of course, A-Rod can only be suspended for a maximum of 50 games. MLB might go after him for 100 games claiming this to be his second offense since he admitted to using once before, but the most they can get based on the collective bargaining agreement the MLB and MLBPA agreed upon is 50 or 100 games. No lifetime bans are coming his way.
I seriously doubt that he would be willing to risk arrest for insurance fraud over maybe $10 million when he’s already earned over half a $1 billion during his career. Maybe they could argue, but aren’t, that this is about his reputation. But even then it seems dubious because his reputation is already completely shot. He’s not going to the Hall of Fame and he probably knows it.
A-Rod is back on the field though and that’s all that matters right now. Hopefully he can get through rehab with no setbacks and can return to the team because no matter what you think of him, he’s still better than David Adams.
OTHER NEWS & NOTES
• Michael Pineda had been killing it in rehab, but his latest start didn’t go so well. He lasted just three innings and gave up four runs on four hits and four walks including a pair of home runs. Just 32 of his 67 pitches were strikes.
I wouldn’t rule out the Yankees sending Pineda to Triple-A when his rehab is up. That’ll keep the pressure off him a little bit. It’ll also give them another year of team control if they keep him down there all season.
• First round pick Aaron Judge (32nd overall) is still holding out for above slot money while the Yankees have not upped their initial slot offer. It wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if the Yankees didn’t sign him as they would get another first round pick next season then.
• Yankees first round pick Eric Jagielo has returned from his groin injury and has been playing in the Gulf Coast League. In his first two games he went 0-for-4.
• Between insurance the Yankees got from the WBC and their own, the Yankees won’t have to pay as much as $19 million of Mark Teixeira‘s salary this season. He makes $22.5 million if you were wondering so it’s like the Yankees got out of one year of that horrible contract.
• Omar Luis Rodriguez, the Cuban kid the Yankees invested $4 million in last year but has been held up with visa issues, has finally been approved for immigration documents. Unfortunately it sounds like he put on a bunch of weight while waiting. Not good to hear.
• Yankees executive vice president Felix Lopez pledged $50 million on behalf of the Yankees for a new stadium in the Dominican Republic. That’s a great idea except he might not have told the Yankees about it.