Rodriguez is 37 years old, and has a degenerative hip condition.
The Yankees still owe him another 5 years and $114 million.
No matter how you slice it, that's a terrible deal for the Yankees.
But no matter how you slice it, they're probably going to have to pay it, despite their best efforts to find some sort of loophole that allows them to void the rest of his contract.
The MLB Player's Union is one of the strongest in sports, and there's no way they'd allow a team to void a contract without very specific language written into the contract. Unfortunately for the Yankees, there is no such language in A-Rod's contract.
The league also specifies that the team can't punish players further beyond what the league prescribes if they violate the league's substance abuse policy.
Add that to the fact that he technically didn't even fail a drug test this time, and it's looking like the Yankees are out of luck on this one.
As everything stands, it's looking like the Yankees will end up having to pay the rest of Rodriguez's exorbitant contract, and they'll end up getting next to nothing in return, as far as production goes.
One suggestion that seems to work for both sides is if a doctor determines that A-Rod's hip no longer allows him to play again. Basically, it would be medical retirement.
Rodriguez would still get paid. The Yankees' insurance would pay for about 85% of the remaining money on his deal. The contract would no longer count against their payroll for luxury tax purposes. Aside from the fact that A-Rod would no longer be allowed to play anymore, it seems like a win-win for everyone involved, aside from the insurance company.
The thing is... this could be considered insurance fraud, if there's any chance that Rodriguez could still play at some level.
I don't think there's any doubt that he'll never be able to play up to his contract. That would be nearly impossible, no matter how his hip was doing. But after his surgery, he'll most likely be able to play in some capacity. And that's all it takes for the Yankees to be handcuffed to this horrendous contract until 2017.
If the Yankees somehow manage to find a loophole and void his contract, it will be a historic achievement, and could change the way MLB contracts are set up forever.
Good luck with that, Yankees.