Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, in a televised interview with ESPN's SportsCenter that aired Sunday, described Alex Rodriguez's 10 seasons with the Yankees as "complicated."
Rodriguez, currently rehabbing after hip surgery, is in the sixth year of a 10-year, $275-million contract that he signed after the 2007 season.
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"It's something I think even Alex would tell you, he couldn't live up to that," Cashman said. "It's an enormous contract and I think that, I would say probably, he couldn't live up to it but he's doing everything he can to try to do so."
Cashman said he hopes Rodriguez returns to the Yankees as "an above-average" third baseman.
"Because that's what he's been for the last few years," Cashman said. "Once his injuries came into play with him, they may have taken away his ability to be a superstar. But he's still an above-average player at that position and hopefully that's what we're going to get."
A-Rod's time with the Yankees has included a World Series title in 2009, an MVP season and personal milestones such as his 500th and 600th home runs.
But he also has been at the center of several controversies, such as admitting his use of performance-enhancing drugs in the three years before joining the team. Earlier this year, he reportedly was linked to having received PEDs from Biogenesis, the now-defunct Miami anti-aging clinic. Rodriguez denied that and the Yankees have declined to comment while MLB investigates.