Since Saturday’s announcement that New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez will be suspended for the entire 2014 season, there has been much debate regarding his future. Is he done with baseball for good? Is he done with the Yankees?
Technically, the Yankees are on the hook for A-Rod through 2017. So in order to be done with him for good, he would need to retire, or they would need to release or trade him.
There is no chance of outright retirement. After the epic and ongoing war he has waged against his PED suspension, there is no way he would simply give up and forfeit the $61 million the Yankees still owe him. A negotiated buyout and retirement seems unlikely as well. Not only does A-Rod want every cent he is owed, but all signs point to a great desire in him to continue playing baseball.
As unlikely as early retirement is, it’s almost as unlikely that the Yankees would ever allow A-Rod to play for them again. Whether he is on the team or not, almost every scenario involves them paying him $61 million, so I have to believe they have resigned themselves to that fact. If they are going to pay him anyway, then they might as well do it from a distance.
This leaves them with two options. One, they can outright release him and eat the $61 million. Two, they can attempt to trade him (and still eat most, if not all of the $61 million).
The only logical destination for a player as beaten down as A-Rod is his hometown of Miami. A-Rod grew up in Miami, committed to playing at the University of Miami before opting for the MLB Draft instead, and he currently still has a home there.
During the pre-Biogenesis days in October of 2012, reports surfaced of a light-hearted conversation between Yankees president Randy Levine and Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria. The subject matter supposedly involved a possible trade for A-Rod. Of course, nothing ever materialized and both sides passed the conversation off as a joke between friends.
Now, circumstances have changed. For a team that desperately needs a boost in attendance, A-Rod could have a positive impact there despite his wrecked public image. The Marlins have a pretty wrecked image themselves after Loria used public funds for a new ballpark and then immediately turned around and gutted his team in a fire sale.
The Marlins would absolutely be able to get Rodriguez for cheap, with the Yankees picking up the lion’s share of the tab. If A-Rod is able to do anything offensively in 2015, then not only would that help an atrocious offense gain some traction, but it would likely put some butts in seats as well.
Whether A-Rod ends up in Miami or not, one thing is for sure — he definitely won’t end up in New York.