Good news on the Alex Rodriguez rehab front.
According to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, the veteran third baseman told Yankees manager Joe Girardi on Saturday that he is able to run slowly on a treadmill without feeling any sort of lingering pain or discomfort in his surgically-repaired hip. “He was pretty fired up about that,” Girardi said later in a talk with the media.
Rodriguez underwent major hip surgery in January and is not expected to be ready for major league action again until after the All-Star break. Kevin Youkilis has been playing third for the Yankees.
Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times reported Friday that A-Rod (or one of his associates) tried to purchase documents from the Miami-based Biogenesis clinic with the intention of destroying them. Major League Baseball is currently investigating Biogenesis, so the attempt by A-Rod could be viewed as a violation of the Joint Drug Agreement — which demands cooperation from players during PED investigations.
And that violation could alone lead to a suspension of some kind. Something to watch for.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that there is a “one million percent” chance Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman will opt out once the season ends.
Just going by the math this makes perfect sense, of course.
Chapman signed a five-year, $86 million deal with the Yankees before the 2017 season. Pursuant to the terms of the deal he’ll make $15 million a year in 2020 and 2021 (he was given an $11 million signing bonus that was finished being paid out last year). This past season the qualifying offer was $17.9 million. Craig Kimbrel of the Cubs just signed a deal that will pay him $16 million in 2020, 2021, and 2022 (he’s making a prorated $16 million this year). Other top closer salaries at the moment include Kenley Jansen ($19,333,334); and Wade Davis ($18 million).
It’s fair to say that Chapman fits into that group and, I think it’s safe to say, more teams would take him than those guys if they were all freely available. As such, Chapman opting out to get more money makes all kinds of sense. Heck, opting out, getting slapped with a qualifying offer, accepting it and then hitting the market unencumbered after the 2020 season would stand him in better financial stead than if he didn’t opt-out in the first place.
The question is whether the Yankees will let it get that far or whether they’ll approach him to renegotiate the final couple of years on the deal or to add some years onto the back of it. If they’re smart they will.