NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Apparently there was a team interested in acquiring Alex Rodriguez during the offseason, prior to the Yankees disclosing his hip injury and long before the Biogenesis scandal.
Japan’s Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks contacted the Yankees “through an intermediary” in November to express an “interest in obtaining” A-Rod, according to the New York Times.
New York chose not to return serve due to Rodriguez’s injury, which likely would have ended talks right then and there, the Times reported. The Yankees announced on Dec. 3 that A-Rod required surgery to repair a torn labrum in his hip and would miss at least half of the 2013 season.
The team also “knew there was no chance” A-Rod would go along with a move to Japan, the Times reported.
In January, the Miami New Times reported that A-Rod’s name appeared multiple times in the reported records of Biogenesis, the now-closed clinic in Florida at the center of Major League Baseball’s investigation into performance-enhancing drugs.
The 37-year-old has denied any link to the clinic or its operator, Anthony Bosch. He admitted in 2009 to using steroids while with the Texas Rangers.
Yankees fans were calling for A-Rod’s exit even before the Biogenesis mess. Many declared themselves done with the high-priced third baseman after his nightmarish 2012 postseason, which included a massive slump and a headline-grabbing incident in the Bronx involving two female fans — dubbed “Flirtgate” — during Game 1 of the ALCS.
Rodriguez is slated to earn $114 million over the final five years of his 10-year, $275 million deal.
He’s been rehabbing at the team’s facility in Tampa, Fla.
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