We have heard various sourced reports in recent weeks and months that the Yankees weren’t planning to pay Alex Rodriguez his $6 million marketing bonus if or when he reached 660 career home runs to tie Willie Mays for fourth on the all-time list, but nobody from the team has gone on record about it until today.
On the heels of A-Rod tying Mays last night, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York that the agreement states they have the “right” to determine whether to pay him the bonus, not the “obligation.” Here’s more from Cashman:
“We’re going to honor our responsibilities of the contract,” Cashman said. “(But) how it’s been reported . . . and what the contract actually says are two different things. It’s not ‘you do this, you get that.’ It’s completely different. It’s not all of a sudden, we’re choosing not to do something. If we choose to pursue something we’ll choose to pursue it. If we choose not to, it’s our right not to. In both cases, we’re honoring the contract.”
Per Jack Curry of YES Network, below is the exact wording of the marketing agreement between the two sides:
The Yankees are arguing that Rodriguez’s history with PEDs has taken away the ability to market the accomplishment. Of course, they have shown that they are willing to sell just about anything, so this is a very questionable claim. According to the collective bargaining agreement, Rodriguez has 14 days from the time of the Yankees’ refusal to file a grievance. The MLBPA is prepared to back A-Rod if he decides to fight it.