The New York Yankees believe they have a "strong chance" of not being required to pay Alex Rodriguez the milestone bonuses contained in his marketing agreement with the team, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
The agreement includes five $6 million payments Rodriguez would be owed for historic achievements as part of a deal negotiated at the time of the 10-year, $275 million contract extension he signed in November 2007.
The first achievement that triggers a bonus is his 660th career home run, which would tie him with Willie Mays for fourth alltime. Rodriguez will enter the 2015 season with 654 home runs.
Celebrities at Spring Training
Here's a look at celebrities at spring training through the years.
Eva Longoria and Ricardo Antonio Chavira
Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren
Muhammad Ali, George Brett, Joe Torre and Wayne Gretzky
The Blueman Group
Rob Schnieder and Willie Mays
WWE performer Kelly Kelly
Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino
Actor Rob Schnieder (left) stands with Jeff Fassero, Ray Durham, and Barry Bonds who's portraying Paula Abdul.
Heyman reports that the team has "every intention" of putting Rodriguez on trial and under oath if it needs to in a potential grievance hearing. The Yankees believe the wording in the marketing agreement that says they must "designate" the home runs as milestones helps their case, and that Rodriguez's performance-enhancing drug use should void the payments.
Rodriguez could file a grievance if the Yankees do not designate the achievements as milestones, which Heyman reports is "where things could really get contentious."
New York still owes Rodriguez $61 million over the next three seasons. On Monday, he reported early to spring training and began working out.
- Molly Geary