Alex Rodriguez is unlikely to ever wear the pinstripes again, sources familiar with the Yankees' situation with their troubled third baseman told the Daily News, no matter what happens regarding new allegations that he is again involved with performance-enhancing drugs.

According to numerous baseball sources, the hip surgery Rodriguez is now recovering from will likely derail his playing career, leaving him in such a diminished role that he may consider a settlement or an outright retirement. He still has five years and $114 million left on his contract.

"I don't know why he would want to go through the pain of rehabbing and trying to play up to the caliber of player he was, and come back to a game where nobody wants him," said a baseball official.

"If he did that, he'd be a part-time player and presumably unable to achieve any of the incentive clauses in the contract or even the milestones."

Even before the latest steroid allegations surfaced, Yankee officials had already privately begun preparing for the likelihood that Rodriguez would never finish out the mega-deal he signed in 2007. He underwent his second hip surgery earlier in the month and had begun rehabbing in Miami when the Daily News reported over the weekend that he had been involved with self-described Miami "biochemist" Anthony Bosch, who is the subject of federal, state and Major League Baseball drug investigations.

The Miami New Times weekly newspaper reported Tuesday that a former investor in Bosch's now-defunct Biogenesis clinic had given the newspaper documents and a notebook containing descriptions of the performance-enhancing drugs Bosch had allegedly provided Rodriguez and other players, including former Yankee and current Toronto Blue Jay Melky Cabrera.

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