Alex Rodriguez reports to Yankees following drug suspension
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Alex Rodriguez reported to the New York Yankees following a season-long suspension, arriving three days ahead of schedule.
Wearing a green University of Miami sweat suit, Rodriguez arrived shortly before 1 p.m. Monday in a white SUV at the team’s minor league complex, a short distance from Steinbrenner Field. New York’s position players start workouts Thursday.
After changing into Yankees’ shorts and a T-shirt and a spring training cap, Rodriguez worked out for about an hour. He hit six home runs in 71 swings and took grounders at shortstop. The Yankees say Chase Headley will be their starting third baseman and Rodriguez will compete for at-bats at designated hitter.
Suspended for violations of baseball’s drug agreement and labor contract, Rodriguez apologized to team officials during a meeting on Feb. 10 and to fans in a statement last week. The three-time AL MVP has not spoken publicly about his actions that led to the suspension.
Rodriguez, who turns 40 in July, has not played a full season since 2007 because the suspension, operations on both hips and other injuries. He admitted in 2009 that he used performance-enhancing drugs from 2001-03 while with Texas.
Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig suspended Rodriguez for 211 games in August 2013, citing conduct from 2010-12 uncovered during MLB’s investigation of the Biogenesis of America clinic, which was based in Coral Gables, Florida, not far from Rodriguez’s home.
Arbitrator Fredric Horowitz reduced the penalty to the 2014 season, finding ”clear and convincing evidence” Rodriguez used three banned substances and twice tried to obstruct baseball’s drug investigation. The suspension cost Rodriguez $22.13 million of his $25 million salary last year.
Rodriguez also sued Major League Baseball, the players’ association and the Yankees’ team physician, then dropped the cases.
He is owed $61 million in the final three seasons of his $275 million, 10-year contract. A marketing agreement signed at the time of his contract provides for five $6 million bonuses he could earn for historic achievements; the Yankees told him they don’t plan to pay those.