The ongoing cold war between the New York Yankees and third baseman Alex Rodriguez reportedly is headed for another battle. Bill Madden and Teri Thompson of the New York Daily News reported the Yankees are preparing to contest the $6 million bonuses due to Rodriguez as he moves his way up the all-time home runs list. 

Rodriguez, who is currently fifth on the all-time list with 654 home runs, is six away from tying Willie Mays. The Yankees, citing their beleaguered star’s continued use of performance-enhancing drugs, plan to allege his cheating nullifies the marketing power of his ascent up the record books.

The 10-year, $272 million deal Rodriguez signed in 2007 calls for a $6 million bonus for each player he passes on the all-time home runs list, beginning with Mays. Madden and Thompson indicate the Yankees will argue they “signed the agreement under false pretenses,” namely that Rodriguez was not cheating. The deal is separate from Rodriguez’s playing contract, which makes it unprecedented from an MLB perspective.

New York will still owe Rodriguez the $61 million remaining on his playing contract regardless of a decision on the bonuses. 

Once considered MLB’s best all-around player, Rodriguez spent the entire 2014 campaign suspended due to his involvement with the Biogenesis scandal. A degenerative hip condition caused him to miss all but 44 games in 2013, meaning Rodriguez will be looking to play his first full season in two years in 2015.

Because of the scandals, the relationship between the Yankees and Rodriguez is rocky at best. Thompson, Madden and Michael O’Keeffe of the Daily News reported over the weekend that team brass declined Rodriguez’s request for a meeting before spring training. A source told the Daily News the relationship will “never” be repaired.


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