Print and Go Back ESPN.com: New York Yankees [Print without images]

Monday, July 29, 2013
Could the Yanks sue A-Rod?

By Andrew Marchand

When the Biogenesis scandal first broke, Wallace Matthews and I wrote a story saying that if MLB penalizes Alex Rodriguez, the Yankees may go after his contract. In late January, we wrote:

If Major League Baseball disciplines Alex Rodriguez over the latest illegal performance-enhancing drug allegations, the New York Yankees plan on exploring multiple avenues in an attempt to void the star third baseman's contract.


Today, in his Insider blog, Buster Olney outlined one of the ways they may try to accomplish this goal: They could sue A-Rod.

At the time the Yankees signed him to his 10-year, $275 million deal, after the 2007 season, they entered into the deal thinking that Rodriguez would continue as an important and marketable part of their franchise for years to come. This is also why they added $5 million incentive clauses that were attached to specific and historic statistical milestones -- so he and the franchise would share that wealth.

But after his admission of PED use in the spring of 2009, the practical usefulness of Rodriguez as a marketing piece was badly damaged -- and now, with MLB close to concluding its investigation of Rodriguez, he is all but useless on that front.

Quite simply, a longtime baseball lawyer noted Sunday, the Yankees have not gotten what they paid for above and beyond Rodriguez’s baseball production -- like any business that didn’t get the services it thought it was buying.

In the eyes of that lawyer, an argument could be made -- maybe successfully, maybe not -- that Rodriguez’s actions have diminished the Yankees’ brand.

Check out the rest of Buster's take here (Insider)