NEW YORK -- The New York Yankees are devising legal arguments so Alex Rodriguez won't be able to collect any of the bonuses he is owed per the $30 million "milestone home run" marketing agreement he signed in 2007, sources confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com.
If Rodriguez hits six more homers, which would tie him with Willie Mays for fourth all time, he will be eligible for a $6 million bonus as part of his 10-year, $275 million contract with the Yankees. Rodriguez has hit 654 home runs in his career.
The Yankees plan on contesting the validity of the marketing deal because of Rodriguez's steroids revelations and yearlong suspension, a source with knowledge of the situation told ESPNNewYork.com.
Rodriguez, along with the MLB Players Association, would have the right to file a grievance that could return the ugliness from the Biogenesis investigation. This could reopen Rodriguez to questions about when and where he has done PEDs.
Even so, it is unclear how strong of a case the Yankees would have.
The Yankees' interest in trying to claim back some of the money they owe Rodriguez has been known for a long time. As far back as January 2013, shortly after the Miami New Times initially reported the Biogenesis story, a source told ESPNNewYork.com that the Yankees were "looking at about 20 different things" in regard to A-Rod's deal. The bonuses were part of that equation.
The New York Daily News reported earlier Monday that the Yankees would go after the bonuses.
In a future grievance, the Yankees likely would argue that Rodriguez basically voided the marketing agreement by making it worthless because of his PED use and the way he has acted. The deal calls for Rodriguez to receive the flat $6 million fee in return for the Yankees' gaining exclusive rights to market the milestone achievements.
Rodriguez, who will turn 39 in July, would also pocket $6 million apiece if he tied Babe Ruth (714 homers), Hank Aaron (755), Barry Bonds (762) and besting Bonds' record.
As it stands, the Yankees owe Rodriguez $61 million over the next three seasons to complete the 10-year deal. The Yankees had discussed internally trying to void that contract, but that is not in the plans right now.