Quote of the Day: A-Rod isn’t gonna talk about the $6 million home run bonus

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Everyone is talking about the bonus the Yankees seem intent on not paying Alex Rodriguez for tying and, eventually, passing Willie Mays for number four on the all-time home run list. Everyone, that is, except for A-Rod:

“I’m just happy to be playing baseball. That’s family business. That’s nowhere near where my energy is these days. My energy is playing the game tonight. Just baseball . . . “I’ve been in a good place for a while now, and it’s just fun to be playing baseball. I’ve learned my lesson. The old (A-Rod) is gone.”

The “old A-Rod” referring to litigious A-Rod. Which isn’t to say that he and/or the union won’t do something about this at some point, but it makes way more sense for him to wait until the season is over so he doesn’t have to answer questions about it and stuff all year.

As we’ve noted here many times in the past, the whole home run bonus thing is a legal matter which is hard to assess without actually having access to the marketing agreement that created the bonus. This isn’t necessarily like guaranteed player salaries or bonuses in standard contracts governed by the CBA. There may, in fact, be legal and straightforwardly defensible ways for the Yankees to withhold the bonuses, so talking about the team as “reneging” on the deal or breaching a contract is premature and could, technically speaking, be wrong.

Bigger picture, however, it’s impossible to see the Yankees’ effort to avoid paying on this as anything other than a bit of spite based on a rocky relationship with A-Rod over the past several years. To exploit a “because we can” argument as opposed to appreciating “because we should” reasoning. In this, it’s not unlike the Cubs dealings with Kris Bryant’s service time or, perhaps, the Angels’ understanding of their rights with respect to Josh Hamilton.

Put differently, what is legal and what is right is not often the same thing. And sometimes pursuing one of those ends means ignoring the other.

Marlins give Don Mattingly two-year extension

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The Marlins have announced that they have inked manager Don Mattingly to a two-year contract extensions. There’s a third year in the form of a mutual option.

Mattingly is finishing up the final year of the four-year contract he signed with the Marlins prior to the 2016 season. He’s 272-364 in that period and the club has lost 99 games already this season. The current bad run, however, obviously corresponds with a massive rebuild the team began undertaking following the 2017 season and the team’s change in ownership. Mattingly has not had much to work with over the past two seasons but he has likewise, largely, kept the team on as even a keel as one could hope under the circumstances. He has certainly impressed the Marlins’ brass enough to take the unusual step of keeping on a manager they inherited from a previous ownership and front office group.

In other news, the Marlins also announced a two-year contract extension for shortstop Miguel Rojas valued at $10.25 million. There’s a vesting option for a third year. The deal buys out Rojas’ final year of arbitration eligibility and one year of free agency, plus that option.

Rojas, 30, is hitting .285/.335/.383 (OPS+ 92) this year.