The old saying “Every cloud has a silver lining” may actually be changed to every cloud has a gold lining if Alex Rodriguez is indeed suspended by Major League Baseball in the wake of the Biogenesis fiasco about to go en fuego.
A-Rod’s days as a feared hitter and productive teammate are in the rearview mirror. He is an albatross around the Yankees’ neck – emotionally, physically and financially. If Rodriguez is suspended for the rest of the 2014 season the Yankees will clear $25 million off their payroll on day one of the suspension. If A-Rod gets a lifetime ban, that figure potentially turns into $86 million, allowing the Yankees to immediately start prowling for their favorite prey; high priced talent wooed away from other teams.
Under the terms of Major League Baseball’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, when a player is suspended without pay, the salary that is owed for that time no longer counts towards the team’s payroll nor the luxury tax threshold. For New York it’s like winning the lottery. Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi must be praying to the baseball gods right now to allow A-Rod’s suspension to come to pass.
This windfall for New York presents immediate problems for the rest of the teams in the AL East and possibly beyond. Orioles manager Buck Showalter appears completely peeved by this potential eventuality. “If Bud lets them get away with that, they’re under the luxury tax,” Showalter told USA Today Sports. “If they can reset, they can spend again and I guarantee you in two years Matt Wieters is in New York.”
Buck’s right and every other manager with big time talent heading into free agency in the next two years should be looking over their shoulder and looking out for the Beast That Eats Everything.