The news yesterday that Alex Rodriguez had reached out to the Yankees about returning to the team after opting out, but that a Yankees source said, "We will not negotiate with Scott Boras. … He cannot be in the room."
That immediately caused concerns about breaking with the CBA (see the current CBA here).
As noted in Article IV – Negotiations and Approval of Contracts (emphasis by the author):
If the Association has notified the Office of the Commissioner that a Player has designated a certified Player Agent or Agents to act on his behalf for the purposes described in this Article IV, no Club may negotiate or attempt to negotiate an individual salary and/or Special Covenants to be included in a Uniform Player’s Contract with any Player Agent(s) other than such Player Agent(s).
MLBPA General Counsel Michael Weiner said in reference to the Yankees negotiating directly with A-Rod by saying, “That clearly is a violation of the Basic Agreement."
Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Daily reports
The MLB Commissioner’s office and the Yankees have "assured" the MLBPA that the Yankees "have and will continue to negotiate" with agent Scott Boras on Alex Rodriguez’ contract, MLBPA General Counsel Michael Weiner said.
To add some clarity, some might be asking, “If Rodriguez approached the Yankees, and not the other way around, how is this a violation?” The answer is that Rodriguez can initiate contact, but at the time of any meetings, the agent that has been designated by the player must be part of any salary negotiations.
What’s the easy answer to get around this? Alex can fire Boras. The statements made by Rodriguez on his personal website, however, make no mention of his intent to do so.
Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football and The Biz of Basketball (The Biz of Hockey will be launching shortly). He is also an author for Baseball Prospectus, Basketball Prospectus and is an available writer for other media outlets.
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