Q: How will the drug investigation and any suspension impact Rodriguez’s chances of getting elected to the Hall of Fame?
A: Once viewed as a sure Hall of Famer, Rodriguez would appear to have little support among the voting writers in the foreseeable future. Among players accused of steroids use, Roger Clemens (37.6 percent), Barry Bonds (36.2), Mark McGwire (16.9), Sammy Sosa (12.5) and Rafael Palmeiro (8.8) all fell far short of the necessary 75 percent in this year’s vote. Whether a player denies or acknowledges use has had little or no impact on the voters.
Q: What would be the impact of a suspension be on the New York Yankees?
A: In addition to not having to pay Rodriguez, the Yankees would have a much easier time to get under next year’s $189 million threshold for baseball’s luxury tax, which has room for about $177 million in salaries before benefits are added. Rodriguez’s contract has a $27.5 million impact on the Yankees’ payroll for luxury tax purposes. Others whose salaries are coming off the payroll next year include Curtis Granderson ($15 million), Andy Pettitte ($12 million), Mariano Rivera ($10 million), Phil Hughes ($7.15 million). And if he exercises his $9.5 million player option, Derek Jeter’s luxury tax salary would drop from his 2013 value of about $15.5 million. If he remains with the Yankees, Robinson Cano’s salary is likely to increase from its current $15 million.