Alex Rodriguez apologizes in meeting with Yankees
At Yankee Stadium, Rodriguez met principal owner Hal Steinbrenner, president Randy Levine, general manager Brian Cashman, assistant general manager Jean Afterman and Jim Sharp, Rodriguez's attorney.
"Alex initiated the meeting and apologized to the organization for his actions over the past several years," the statement read. "There was an honest and frank discussion on all of the issues. As far as the Yankees are concerned, the next step is to play baseball in spring training."
Rodriguez, who turns 40 in July, has played for the Yankees since 2004. Though he won a World Series with New York in 2009 and was named the American League MVP in 2005 and 2007, Rodriguez's relationship with the team has soured considerably.
In 2013, he sued Yankees team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad and New York-Presbyterian Hospital for allegedly mishandling his medical care during the 2012 playoffs. He withdrew the case last June.
In August 2013, the 14-time All-Star was suspended 211 games for his involvement in the Biogenesis steroid scandal. He was allowed to play while appealing the suspension, which was reduced in January 2014 to 162 games and kept him out of the entire season. Rodriguez filed a lawsuit in federal court in an attempt to get the shortened suspension over turned, but later dropped the suit.
Rodriguez, who hasn't played a full season since 2007 because of the suspensions and leg injuries, has three seasons and $61 million remaining on his 10-year contract. The team could dispute five $6 million payments Rodriguez would be owed for historic achievements as part of a marketing deal negotiated at the time of the 10-year, $275 million contract extension he signed in November 2007.
The Yankees plan to move Rodriguez from third base to designated hitter this season.
- Mike Fiammetta