NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – On Tuesday, Alex Rodriguez tweeted that he was medically cleared to begin his rehab assignment.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman later responded to ESPN, saying A-Rod hadn’t yet received the green light from the team. Oh, and he said the star third baseman “should just shut the f— up.”
Here’s another twist: A-Rod told the Yankees on Wednesday that he’s not healthy enough to play, according to the New York Post.
“He is not ready to play in games,” a source told the Post. “He is worried about his health.”
A-Rod has been rehabbing from offseason hip surgery at the team’s facility in Tampa, Fla. The Post said its source “has heard speculation Rodriguez could use the hip problem to retire.”
The New York Daily News painted a slightly different picture, reporting that A-Rod has “racheted up” his timetable in order to play in some rehab games before Major League Baseball has a chance to hand down suspensions related to its investigation into Biogenesis and performance-enhancing drugs.
“It’s all about him getting his money and not losing it to suspension,” a source told the Daily News. “He knows he’s never going to the Hall of Fame. All that’s left for him is to make sure he gets his money — all of it.”
The Daily News’ sources also raised the possibility of an early retirement.
If A-Rod calls it a career due to a medical issue, he could collect on the rest of his contract, covered mostly by insurance, according to the Post. In other words, the Yankees would be off the hook for a large majority of the $114 million remaining on his contract.
A-Rod is smack in the middle of MLB’s firestorm surrounding Biogenesis and its operator, Anthony Bosch. The 37-year-old was first linked to the clinic in January, when the Miami New Times reported that Rodriguez’s name or nicknames appeared multiple times in Biogenesis’ records. Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun and Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli have also been tied to the clinic, among others. All have denied the allegations.
Meanwhile, Bosch has agreed to cooperate with MLB investigators. The league will reportedly be seeking bans of 100 games for some players.
Cashman said Wednesday that he regretted his “choice of words” when talking about A-Rod’s rehab tweet.
“Ninety-nine times out of 100, I roll with it pretty good,” Cashman said. “I didn’t roll with this one well at all. I popped. I sounded off. Reality TV at its best.”
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