The question now becomes whether the Yankee’s may have cause to void Rodriguez’s contract?
Article 7 of the Major League Uniform Player’s Contract specifically states that:
7.(b) The Club may terminate [a] contract upon written notice to the Player (but only after requesting and obtaining waivers of this contract from all other Major League Clubs) if the Player shall at any time: (1) fail, refuse or neglect to conform his personal conduct to the standards of good citizenship and good sportsmanship or to keep himself in first-class physical condition or to obey the Club’s training rules.
Article 3 of the contract also specifically states that:
3.(a) The Player agrees to perform his services hereunder diligently and faithfully, to keep himself in first-class physical condition and to obey the Club’s training rules, and pledges himself to the American public and to the Club to conform to high standards of personal conduct, fair play and good sportsmanship.
It can easily be argued that the illegal usage of performance enhancing drugs may be construed as a failure to “keep himself in first-class physical condition” as well as a blatant violation to “conform to high standards of personal conduct”. Presuming that the Yankees can prove that Rodriguez misrepresented himself for not only failing to admit his usage of PEDs with the Rangers, but than subsequently lying that he never used them again with their organization, they may be able to at the very least shift the remainder of Rodriguez’s salary to a non-guaranteed deal.
Of course, from a legal prospective, unless the MLB and Yankees can come up with hard evidence of his usage of the drugs, the MLBPA will offer significant protection to Rodriguez. Because all grievances that stem from drug-related cases must be handled under the collective bargaining agreement, unlike in a regular breach of contract suit, the employer can not simply single out individualized clauses in the employee agreement as a bonafide legal argument to get out of the contract.