A-Rod likely won't be punished again; what do Yankees do with him?

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·MLB columnist
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Assuming Alex Rodriguez is housebroken – and considering the allegation he went full Lebowski on the floor of his cousin-turned-drug-dealer-turned-patsy, the big question is whether he aimed for a rug and whether it really tied the room together – the most interesting point to digest from the latest episode of As the Rod Turns is how it affects the 109 days until the New York Yankees' first full-squad workout.

The consensus: It almost certainly won't. Despite speculation Major League Baseball could use the information revealed in a Miami Herald report and gathered by a federal investigation of the Biogenesis clinic to further discipline Rodriguez, multiple major league sources told Yahoo Sports the disclosures dovetailed with what the league already knew and would not prompt a suspension beyond the full-season one he served in 2014.

While the government has subpoenaed MLB on a number of occasions to extract information for its case, it has not revealed to the league any new information that could reopen a potential disciplinary proceeding, sources said. The main information from the Herald report – Rodriguez admitted to the DEA he used a number of performance-enhancing drugs provided by faux doctor Tony Bosch – was something MLB already knew and the main factor in Rodriguez's suspension.

Other potential avenues for suspension, such as Rodriguez being cited as a distributor under the Joint Drug Agreement's rule 7.F. for possibly providing PEDs to friends or teammates, are not under consideration by MLB currently, sources said. Further information could change that, as well as baseball perhaps pursuing discipline under the "just cause" provision cited in rule 7.G., though one source deemed that "pretty unlikely."

Although the case against baseball railroading Rodriguez lost steam with his admission of use, and Rodriguez doesn't exactly have the most vehement support of the MLB Players Association considering he sued it, and the Yankees would love nothing more than to slink out of another chunk of the $61 million they owe him, MLB is loath to actively seek another suspension unless overwhelming evidence falls into its lap.

Thus comes the reality the Yankees face: 2015 with A-Rod.

The Yankees are not getting rid of Rodriguez – not yet. "We're not prepared just to let him go and eat $61 million," one club source said. The calculus is simple: If the 39-year-old A-Rod gets injured and cannot play, the Yankees would recoup 80 percent of his salary through insurance.

Currently, then, the Yankees are willing to endure a monstrous headache for a potential $48.8 million windfall. Were the money and the situation different – Rodriguez hasn't played a full season since 2007 and is coming off a full year away from the game – perhaps the Yankees would just eat the money and rid themselves of the problem. The Yankees' hope: Rodriguez is bad enough, or hurt enough, that he shuts it down for good.

As it stands, the Yankees have no plans on keeping him at his old position.

"Nobody here expects him to play third," one official said flatly. Third baseman Chase Headley could well be their top free-agent target, along with pitcher Brandon McCarthy, and the Yankees plan to fill other holes via trade, with Jimmy Rollins and Elvis Andrus among those being discussed at shortstop.

Alex Rodriguez arrives at the offices of Major League Baseball in New York in 2013. (AP file photo)
Alex Rodriguez arrives at the offices of Major League Baseball in New York in 2013. (AP file photo)

Absent his spot at third, Rodriguez becomes a designated hitter and first baseman, filling in at the latter for the 34-year-old Mark Teixeira, whom the Yankees fear is breaking down with two years left on his deal. As much as the Yankees want to spread around their DH at-bats – the just-re-signed Chris Young, Teixeira, outfielder Carlos Beltran and catcher Brian McCann will get plenty – Rodriguez could find himself most of the time on a place more embarrassing than any: the bench.

Should it come to that, the shenanigans will surface, as they always do with Rodriguez. The Yankees and MLB have learned there is no outdoing Rodriguez at the shame game, considering he has none. Whether it was the protesters who held ridiculous signs outside his arbitration hearing, the $900,000 in hush money to his cousin and drug mule Yuri Sucart – upon whose floor he later relieved himself – or lying through his teeth, Rodriguez will not go quietly.

So on goes the countdown to Feb. 26, to Rodriguez standing alongside the men who he ostensibly sued and expecting them to treat him like everyone else and not the pariah he is. If he is terrible and refuses to leave, the Yankees could try their Hail Mary: arguing that the PEDs left him unable to render his services and terminating his contract. No team in baseball has tried it, and MLB arbitrator Fredric Horowitz, who ruled against Rodriguez, almost certainly wouldn't open that Pandora's Box.

Of course, this is the man whose story always defies logic. Wherever it goes, however it turns, whenever it ends, one thing is certain: Alex Rodriguez most certainly will not abide.