MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Ever since a Miami New Times report identified New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez in a performance-enhancing drug scandal, the big question surrounding the former American League Most Valuable Players is what punishment he might receive.
It turns out, Major League Baseball is limited in what type of punishment A-Rod can be hit with.
Based on the Major League Baseball Joint Drug Agreement with the Major League Baseball Players Association, the maximum penalty A-Rod can receive for being a first-time offender is a 50 game suspension.
Even though A-Rod has previously admitted to steroid usage in his career, he’s never tested positive for performance enhancing drugs as a player. That means even if everything in the New Times report is verified by baseball, he’d still be a first-time offender.
The New York Yankees are even more limited in what they can do with A-Rod. The Yankees still owe Rodriguez roughly $114 million over the last five years of his current contract. Unless A-Rod can’t continue due to his hip injuries, which would have to be verified, then the Yankees are on the hook.
If, somehow, A-Rod’s career was set to end with the hip injury, the Yankees would pass on his payments to an insurance company.
While some reports came out in the day that followed the New Times investigation stating the Yankees were investigating possibly voiding his contract, the JDA doesn’t allow the team to do that for a PED case.
“No club may take any disciplinary or adverse action against a Player (including, but not limited to, a fine, suspension, or any adverse action pursuant to a Uniform Player’s Contract) because of a Player’s violation of the program,” the JDA states.