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The Yankees “are preparing for a battle” to void bonuses tied to Alex Rodriguez’s ascension on the all-time home runs list, according to the New York Daily News.
A-Rod, who inked a 10-year deal after opting out in 2007, is owed at least $61 million over the next three seasons. He could earn $30 million more in a separate marketing contract with the Yankees.
Rodriguez won’t receive the entire amount unless he passes Barry Bonds’ record of 762 home runs. The first $6 million marketing payment is scheduled to kick in when A-Rod ties Willie Mays (660) for fourth on the list. He’ll receive the same sum for matching Babe Ruth (714), Hank Aaron (755) and Bonds. The fifth and final payment would be for home run No. 763, though it’s doubtful Rodriguez, pushing 40 years old with two surgically repaired hips, would even come close.
He has 654 career home runs, six shy of Mays.
The team believes the bonuses are “invalid” after A-Rod was suspended the entire 2014 season for his links to Biogenesis and Anthony Bosch, the founder of the clinic at the heart of the performance-enhancing drugs scandal two years ago, according to the Daily News. A-Rod’s contentious appeal of the suspension included lawsuits against the Yankees, MLB and players’ union, all of which were dropped when he accepted an arbitrator’s decision to lower his ban from 211 games to 162.READ MORE: NYPD: 1 Dead, Another Injured In Apparent Drug-Related Shooting At Brooklyn Airbnb
“Now, the Yankees will argue that Rodriguez signed the agreement under false pretenses and has rendered the marketing opportunities worthless,” the newspaper reported.