MIAMI (CBSMiami) – New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez faces either a lifetime ban or a lengthy suspension from Major League Baseball for his role in the Biogenesis scandal.
But, either penalty may spell the end of A-Rod’s career in Major League Baseball.
If A-Rod is suspended for the rest of the 2013 season and all of the 2014 season, when he’s eligible to return in the 2015 season, he’ll be pushing 40-years-old and that’s typically a cutoff point for most Major League Baseball position players.
Historically speaking, the two most recent examples of a position player who was in the regular rotation and over 45-years-old were Omar Vizquel and Julio Franco.
While Vizquel played until he was 45, he never hit better than .276 over the last five years of his career. He also won his last gold glove when he was 39-years-old. Franco was the exception as he hit .309 at the age of 45 as a member of the 2004 Atlanta Braves and even hit .273 when he was 47-years-old.
Still, Franco’s last season appearing in more than 100 games in a season was when he was 46-years-old in 2005.
But what A-Rod has that most other players hitting their twilight didn’t have was money, a truckload of money. Assuming A-Rod is allowed to return in the 2015 season, he will still be owed at least $61 million by the New York Yankees.
Rodriguez’s contract will keep him in a Yankees uniform until the age of 41, assuming he’s not banned for life by Major League Baseball for performance-enhancing drug use.
All total, when A-Rod finishes his career, if he is suspended for a year and a half, he will have made more than $400 million for his career from 1994-2017 when his contract ends.