Alex Rodriguez is down with High-A Tampa rehabbing from his injury. By most accounts things are not going well. He’s just 2-for-15 so far and isn’t running at 100 percent.
Time is ticking too as A-Rod needs to be activated by July 22nd otherwise the Yankees would have to shut him down for five games and start all over again. And it sounds like the Yankees might have to do just that.
According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, while A-Rod himself is optimistic of being promoted to Double-A Trenton soon, people close to A-Rod said that he’s “definitely not ready” to come back by the July 22nd date.
“I don’t think anybody thinks he’ll be back then. Yankees people don’t think he’s up to it physically,” one source told Heyman.
Making matters worse is that Tampa has been rained out on Thursday and Friday so he’s not even playing in real games. Although that might not necessarily be a bad thing as he is surely working out otherwise. A five day shutdown period wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world either as the Yankees have experienced setbacks with many of their injured players this year.
All of this news can be seen in two ways.
If the bottom line of the Yankees winning is all that matters to you then this is bad news. They need right handed hitters in the worst way and they’ve gotten almost no production from their third basemen this season.
However, there are a lot of fans that are very bitter with A-Rod over the years. He brings a lot of baggage and his contract has been an albatross for this team especially while they try to lower the payroll to $189 million. Many of these fans just want to see him gone. For these fans this might be a good thing. It’s his second major hip surgery and there is no guarantee that he ever plays again, Carlos Delgado didn’t.
I should caution such fans. While the Yankees would catch a break financially as 80 percent of his contract is insured, but that money would still count toward the luxury tax. So it would be no benefit to the Yankees on the field whatsoever. Only if A-Rod was healthy and decided to retire would the money not count toward the luxury tax and that’s not going to happen (if he were to be suspended, the money lost only during the suspension would not count toward the tax threshold).
Personally, I’m tired of A-Rod too. I appreciate the 2009 World Series and I still think it’s dumb to boo him, but I want him to just go away. I’m realistic too though and I realize that as long as that money counts toward the tax then I want him playing. I want him back on the field as soon as possible because the bottom line is this team is better off with him even if he’s not a MVP-type anymore.
First he’s actually got to make it through rehab.
NEWS AND NOTES
• The Yankees finally reached an agreement with their first round pick (32nd overall) Aaron Judge on a deal slightly over his $1.8 million slotted bonus.
• The Yankees have also signed 36th round pick Nestor Cortes, who is a small lefty out of a high school in Miami.