Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees have reached an agreement on a bonus dispute that will see $3.5 million of the total being donated to charity. Rodriguez was scheduled to receive a $6 million bonus as part of his original $275 million contract with the Yankees for tying Willie Mays’ record on the all-time home run list. On June 19, Rodriguez became the 29th player in baseball to reach 3,000 hits when he smashed a home run over the right-field fence.
The Yankees withheld the payment after Rodriguez was suspended the entire 2014 season for violations of the MLB’s performance-enhancing drug policy. It was reported that Rodriguez intended to file a grievance over the Yankees’ nonpayment of the bonus. However, both parties agreed to attempt to reach a settlement instead. The new agreement calls for the Yankees to give $2.5 million to the MLB Urban Youth Foundation and split $1 million among the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, the Boys & Girls Club of Tampa and Pitch In For Baseball.
As part of the deal Alex Rodriguez will also be given possession of the baseball from his 3,000th hit. The fan who caught it, Zack Hample, originally declined to relinquish the ball when the New York Yankees came to retrieve it. Hample refused their offer of memorabilia in exchange for the ball and elected to keep it until a deal was reached in the second week of negotiations.
In an interview with TMZ, Hample reported that he had received threats over his retention of the ball and his reluctance to turn it over to the Yankees. As part of the agreement with Hample, the Yankees will donate an additional $150,000 to Pitch In for Baseball and provide tickets and memorabilia to Hample.
This may not be the last time Rodriguez and the Yankees will clash over a bonus payment. The contract calls for Rodriguez to receive additional $6 million bonuses for reaching Babe Ruth’s record of 714, for tying Hank Aaron at 755, for reaching Barry Bonds’ record of 762, and for setting a new record.