The Alex Rodriguez and New York Yankees drama this season continues.
The Yankees’ third baseman said during a conference call Wednesday afternoon with team officials he may not return this season, ESPNNewYork.com is reporting.
"I'm not sure when I can come back," A-Rod told general manager Brian Cashman and team president Randy Levine on the three-way call, according to the source. "It could be in July. It could be in August. It could be I won't be able to play at all this year.”
Earlier this week, it was reported that Rodriguez may be trying to ramp up talks that he’s ready to return to the field so that he can retire and keep the $114 million owed to him, according to the New York Daily News.
Unnamed sources told the newspaper that the former All-Star is worried that Major League Baseball would ban him from baseball because of the Biogenesis scandal. Rodriguez is intent on making sure he gets back on the field to put his crafty plan into play, the paper claims.
Once he begins playing rehab games, “he could then claim he is physically unable to perform because of the serious hip injury he is recovering from, ‘retire’ from the game, and still collect the full amount of his salary — $114 million over the next five years,” according to the sources.
“It’s all about him getting his money and not losing it to suspension,” one unnamed 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.”
Rodriguez could return to the game, find out he can no longer perform up to his standards, then retire before he’s hit with a suspension without pay. A player who retires because he is physically unable to perform, even if he’s later suspended, would still get the full amount of his contract.
Other unnamed sources told the Daily News they believe the MLB will try to suspend Rodriguez, no matter his status.
A report by ESPN earlier this week said Rodriguez is concerned that the Yankees don’t want him back on the field or in the clubhouse, an accusation the team denies.
In 2007, Rodriguez signed a 10-year, $275 million contract.