Alex Rodriguez is facing, according to an unending string of reports, a lifetime ban from baseball if he doesn’t cut a deal and accept his lengthy suspension stemming from the Biogenesis case. As I wrote the other day, the biggest winners are the Yankees, who get to scrub the nearly $100 million owed to the former MVP over the next three-plus seasons off their balance sheet. The losers would then end up being the rest of baseball, specifically teams in the American League East.
USA Today caught up with Orioles manager Buck Showalter, who says the biggest issue around any potential Rodriguez ban is competitive balance. This isn’t the case of the Tigers, who’d rather not see starting shortstop Jhonny Peralta suspended the rest of the regular season or the Rangers losing their top power threat, Nelson Cruz, due to their alleged involvement with Biogenesis. Instead, the Yankees would love nothing more than for Bud Selig to bar Rodriguez from baseball permanently.
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.
Showalter, as you can imagine, isn’t exactly thrilled his division rivals could have all that money to play with to sign free agents:
“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.”
However this all pans out (soon, please), Rodriguez finds himself teetering toward the brink of a no-win scenario. The Yankees, on the other hand, have everything to gain if Selig keeps A-Rod from ever donning the pinstripes again.