Alex Rodriguez Throws in the Towel
On the day that Alex Rodriguez‘s legal team was due to respond to MLB’s motion to dismiss his lawsuit against everyone (i.e., the lawsuit challenging the arbitrator’s 162-game suspension ruling), ARod voluntarily dismissed both of his lawsuits against baseball’s powers-that-be arising out of the Biogenesis American scandal. It’s a strange turn of events, since it raises the questions why the lawsuits were filed in the first place and what made Rodriguez change his mind.
My guess is that ARod’s accountants came to him and warned him that if he kept spending $1 million a month on legal fees, he’d be in dire financial straights before the Yankees have to start paying him his 2015 salary more than a year from now. It’s also possible that his own lawyers warned him that neither lawsuit had much chance of success, even though the lawyers clearly have a direct financial interest in keeping the litigation going. ARod’s lawyers are high-profile attorneys with lots of clients, and their professional reputations will certainly suffer if they bankrupt a high-profile client prosecuting frivolous lawsuits to the bitter end.
There’s also the possibility that Rodriguez finally came to accept the reality of his situation and decided that a year off without pay is not the end of the world, particularly when the Yankees still owe him at least $61 million which they won’t be able to weasel out of unless ARod decides he’s willing to take a buy-out. However, given the epic levels of denial we’ve seen from Rodriguez for the last five years, I still suspect that it’s the threat of running out of money because of the insane legal fees he’s been paying since January 2013, when the Biogenesis America story first broke, that was the deciding factor.
Meanwhile, Rodriguez is probably involved in numerous other disputes with his former sponsors and investment partners over the fact that his reputation and good will have evaporated into thin air. Money will continue to fly out the ARod’s door, but there won’t be much to replace it with until the Yankees start paying him again in 2015.
Another possibility is that in exchange for dismissing the lawsuits, the Yankees and MLB will allow Rodriguez to participate in 2014 Spring Training so ARod can at least get some work in before he sits for a season. Much has been made about the $25 million in salary the Yankees will be saving in 2014 because of ARod’s suspension; however, the Yankees are likely to loose far more than $25 million in value on the remaining $61 million (plus career HR bonuses — ARod is only six home runs away from reaching Willie Mays‘ 660 career total, when the first of five $6 million bonuses kicks in) in terms of the diminished performance they’ll receive when Rodriguez returns to action in 2015.