Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter spoke out on Wednesday against the competitive imbalance that he believes will come in the wake of Alex Rodriguez's PED suspension. The O's skipper has no problem with punishing A-Rod for his transgressions, but thinks that the Yankees should not be completely freed from their contractual obligations to the veteran slugger, reports Paul White of USA Today.
More Biogenesis: Most Players Expected to Accept Suspensions
Per the 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. This means that if Rodriguez is suspended for the 2014 season, the Yankees will instantly have $25 million freed off of their payroll books. If they give him a lifetime ban, it's potentially an instant $86 million windfall for the Bombers.
Showalter believes this rule will give the Yankees an unfair advantage in 2014 and beyond:
"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."
Showalter later added that "they're the ones who signed him to that contract," implying that he thinks the Yankees should be on the hook for at least some of A-Rod's salary.
It's long been reported that the Yankees are attempting to work their way under the $189 million luxury tax threshold next season. If the club is completely freed of its salary commitments to A-Rod next season, not only would that exponentially help their chances of staying under the tax threshold, it might even give them some wiggle room to be big players on the free-agent market again.
The league is expected to announce the suspensions of A-Rod and several other players involved in the Biogenesis scandal sometime in the next few days. The league is currently discussing a settlement with Rodriguez that could limit his time on the sidelines to this season and the next, but they also have plans to hand him a lifetime ban if he does not agree to their terms.