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Alex Rodriguez, Yankees settle dispute over home run milestone bonus

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By Jason Rowan

The 4th of July holiday may be just around the corner, but Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees appear hellbent on tying up some loose ends related to the team’s designated hitter before the holiday weekend.

The team has issued a press release indicating the parties have settled a dispute over a $6 million “milestone” bonus owed the slugger.

According to the statement, Rodriguez and the Yankees have agreed to donate $3.5 million to various charities. What’s more, the statement indicates that A-Rod will not be receiving a single dime of the bonus.

The press release in its entirety (via Big League Stew):

As part of this resolution, Mr. Rodriguez and the Yankees have agreed that a total of $3.5 million in charitable contributions will be made by the Club, with $1 million going to the following charities that have long enjoyed the support of one or both: the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, the Boys & Girls Club of Tampa, and Pitch In For Baseball; and $2.5 million going to the MLB Urban Youth Foundation, which will use the money to further programs and initiatives aimed at increasing youth participation in baseball, particularly in urban areas.  Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. will determine the initiatives to be supported by the $2.5 million contribution after consulting with Mr. Rodriguez, and taking into consideration the focus of Mr. Rodriguez’s past charitable contributions. 

Neither party will have any further comment on the specific terms of the agreement and both look forward to focusing their energies on winning another championship for Yankees fans.

It’s unclear from the press release why the total amount donated to charities is not the full $6 million.

The terms of the marketing deal entailed that A-Rod would receive a $6 million bonus each time he tied another player as he moved up the all-time career home run list.

The Yankees have repeatedly indicated that the team had no intention of paying A-Rod the first of five milestone bonuses owed to him, citing his one-year suspension and involvement with performance-enhancing drugs. The Yankees contended his tainted reputation severely damaged the possibility of marketing both Rodriguez and his remarkable career achievement, meaning the team had no obligation to honor the marketing contract.

Rodriguez hit his 660th career homer on May 1, tying Willie Mays on the all-time list. But the Yankees held fast and refused to pay it out to the slugger.

FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported earlier in the week that Rodriguez, the Yankees and the players’ union have been in negotiations for weeks over how to resolve all issues in a mutually satisfying way, with the sources indicating a donation to charity could settle the matter.

Friday’s developments indicate things played out almost exactly as expected.