The Yankees can’t void A-Rod’s contract

The idea of the Yankees attempting to void Alex Rodriguez‘s contract pops up every now and then even when A-Rod isn’t in the middle of a major ongoing story involving continued use of banned substances, so I certainly can’t say that I’m surprised it’s become all the rage with columnists both national and local since the Miami New Times story came out yesterday. Still, there’s no more chance that the Yankees can actually do it today than there was last week.

The first, and biggest, problem for the Yankees to clear is that A-Rod’s contract is guaranteed, and iron-clad under the rules of the CBA. The Yankees can not simply decide, unilaterally, to abrogate the contract, nor can they go before a judge or an arbitrator making ad hoc arguments as though the law had to be made on the fly due to unclear rules or something. Disciplinary reasonings won’t help either, since the CBA also spells out in detail the exact punishments for A-Rod’s alleged offense, and they don’t include the voiding of a free agent contract. If the league decides to take action, Alex will be suspended for 50 games as stipulated by the rules, and that’s that. Indeed, the fact that the punishment is explicitly prescribed by the CBA more or less shuts this whole discussion down, as there’s no way the Yankees can expect to find a judge who would find that they are somehow special and can operate outside the parameters of the CBA, which is exactly what they’d be doing.

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

About Brien Jackson

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

31 thoughts on “The Yankees can’t void A-Rod’s contract

  1. Thank you Brien. The national sports journalists really betray their ignorance and laziness on topics such as this.

    Perhaps your next post can explain that an insurance company won't simply issue the Yankees a check in the amount of $85 million without conducting any due diligence in the event that A-Rod and the Yankees agree that he can't return from his surgery. Voiding the contract was yesterday's meme. Expecting the insurance carrier which insured the contract to cough up $85 million no questions asked appears to be today's. I am not saying that its impossible that the carrier will payout, but every article I saw this morning on the subject gave the false impression that there was nothing to it for the Yankees.

  2. It really depends on the moral clauses in his contract. If it specifically mentions PEDs or anything around there then that could be grounds for contract violation. Otherwise, yeah not much they can do other than hope he doesn't recover from the surgery and hope to collect on the insurance.

  3. The M&M twins have an interesting article on the 4 letter site. Natch – they come down on all sides of any argument – but they write that there is wording in the bargained Joint Drug Prevention & Treatment Program stating that only the MLB can suspend a player for drugs – but – the same paragraph "does not preclude a club from taking further action against a player who is unable to play because of injury or disability "resulting directly from a physical injury or mental condition arising from his violation of the Program"."

    That line goes a long way towards explaining Dr. Kelly's lengthy (and oddly timed) explanation of why Alex's hip injury could not POSSIBLY be related to drug use. Gotta admit, Alex is canny, even if he does do dumb things.

  4. Couldn't Bud Selig just ban him for life? The Yankees (I assume) wouldn't have to pay him, and Selig makes up for years of ignoring the problem by suddenly appearing super-tough on PEDs. Everybody wins.
    [Like ScotT above, I can dream, too.]

  5. It would be nice if the MLB required opt out clauses for positive tests in all future contracts. That would probably be the best solution here.

  6. If the CBA disallows voiding his contract due to this, then the CBA is wrong and needs to be changed. His actions are costing the Yankees (literally) hundreds of millions of dollars invested with NO return. If he is found to be lying AGAIN about his PED use, and the Yankees cant void the contract in turn, I would go to court over this even if there was zero chance of winning. For all intents and purposes, he is stealing money from the franchise.

  7. The question I have isn't what teams (and MLB) do with players that are now accused of PEDs, but haven't tested positive, but rather: What will it take to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the allegations are true?

    The story seems plausible, but I couldn't prove beyond a doubt that it is accurate.

    I would suspect that if a team or MLB acts on information gleaned outside of the testing process the union will immediately appeal due to the nature of the accusation.

  8. thank God.aroid is a bitch.i can not believe he did this to his career.why do you waste yours and my time in new york?why did you whine about people loving jeter and not you?why did you constantly screw up in the playoffs?why do i own your jersey?i swear to God and my mom above that i will never cheer for you again.i wished you signed with boston back in 03.you piece of shit

  9. I remember reading somewhere at some time (so much help that is) that the Yankees wanted an anti-PED clause in his contract, but ARod wouldn't sign with it. If so that completely undermines any case the Yankees might imagine they have,