During a news conference Friday to introduce new Yankee Alfonso Soriano, general manager Brian Cashman still had to deal with the ongoing saga involving Alex Rodriguez.
While not specifically mentioning Rodriguez by name, Cashman addressed the second-opinion procedure that a source said Thursday will result in discipline for A-Rod by the Yankees. He had a New Jersey doctor review an MRI of his left quadriceps and the diagnosis differed with the findings of the Yankees' team doctor. A source said Thursday that he got the second opinion without first telling the Yankees.
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Major League Baseball's Basic Agreement requires players to seek out medical specialists from an approved list after making an official request to their club.
The Yankees have not yet formally disciplined Rodriguez, a source said Friday. He likely will be fined.
"There's a contract that the Yankees follow on every one of our players, and there's a Basic Agreement that the Yankees follow and the players are supposed to follow on both ends. Period," Cashman said. "If there's a medical concern, there's a process in that contract and the Basic Agreement that they have as an avenue to utilize with an acceptable second medical opinion list."
Rodriguez had an MRI Sunday and was diagnosed with a strained left quadriceps by team doctor Christopher Ahmad. New Jersey orthopedist Michael Gross, who did not examine Rodriguez, said Wednesday he did not see evidence of an injury on an MRI. But Dr. Dan Murphy, an orthopedic surgeon and team physician, examined Rodriguez Thursday in Tampa and concurred with Ahmad's findings.
"We're very comfortable with our medical staff and our medical diagnoses, and if someone is uncomfortable, they can certainly follow the course of the second opinion list and utilize that," Cashman said. "And the MRI is the MRI, it's fact. You can't change the results of an MRI, so we're very comfortable with it, and anybody who wants to utilize the process in place with the union, go right ahead. It's not something we're afraid of."
Rodriguez, who turns 38 Saturday, spent his second straight day at the team's minor-league complex in Tampa. He arrived at 10:30 a.m. and left at about 1:30 p.m. without speaking to reporters.
Cashman said Rodriguez received treatment and did work on a recumbent bike. He said the plan for Saturday is for A-Rod to go on the field and do some defensive drills, participate in tee-and-toss hitting and do conditioning work. Rodriguez is on a five-day rehab plan and could play in a simulated or rehab game by Thursday.
Rodriguez faces a possible suspension from MLB, which is in the disciplinary phase of its probe of Biogenesis. The Yankees continue to deal with the issue even in his absence.
"I think we all kind of want it to get behind us no matter what it is," Mark Teixeira said. "Once something happens or doesn't happen, then we kind of deal with it then."
With Anthony Rieber and
David Lennon in New York
and Greg Auman in Tampa