Alex Rodriguez’ next home run will be the 660th of his career, and it could be a costly one for the New York Yankees.
When A-Rod signed the 10-year, $US275 million contract with the Yankees following the 2007 season, the two sides also agreed to a separate $US30 million marketing agreement. As part of the agreement, Rodriguez was to receive a $US6 million bonus each time he tied one of the top-four players on the career home run list and another $US6 million bonus when he broke the record.
However, while Rodriguez is contracted to receive $US6 million for each milestone home runs, the Yankees will actually have to pay twice that amount.
According to David Waldstein of the New York Times, baseball officials have confirmed that any bonuses paid to A-Rod will be considered part of the team’s payroll. With the Yankees over the luxury-tax threshold, the team will be taxed 100% which means each time he hits one of the milestones, the Yankees would give A-Rod $US6 million and another $US6 million would be contributed to Major League Baseball’s competitive balance tax.
Now with 659 career home runs, Rodriguez is just one home run away from tying the first player on the list, Willie Mays. All indications are that the Yankees are going to refuse to pay the bonus because of Rodriguez’ involvement in the Biogenesis scandal and subsequent suspension for the 2014 season.
Waldstein reports that language in the contract says the Yankees “have the right but not the obligation” to market the home runs.
The team has gone as far as to completely omit Rodriguez from their “upcoming milestones” list handed out to media, even though many far less significant milestones are included.
At the very least, the two sides appear to be heading towards a fight, which will have huge implications not only on this bonus but on all the future milestones as A-Rod moves up the home run list.
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