New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman acknowledged on Sunday that relations with estranged third-baseman Alex Rodriguez had deteriorated to the point that he now confines his conversation with his highest-paid player to a simple exchange of greetings.

"I'm not comfortable talking to Alex about this because we feel we are in a litigious environment" Cashman said during an impromptu half-hour chat with the media before Sunday night's game between the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. "Hello and goodbye that's about it. I'm not comfortable talking to him anymore. I don't want to be distorted."

As if to underscore the point Rodriguez walked past the Yankees dugout as Cashman spoke but barely glanced over at his GM as he headed to the outfield to play catch with a member of the Yankees coaching staff.

"These are unique times" said Cashman who did not disagree when a questioner characterized the team and Rodriguez as "at war."

"It's not just Yankees' management" Cashman said. "He's putting it at the level of our trainers our medical staff. The organization. The team."

Asked to describe the state of his personal relationship with Rodriguez Cashman said "It's probably not in my best interests to characterize it. I had a better one but at some point it's hard to engage somebody too easily when this stuff is going on."

Cashman said he and Rodriguez had crossed paths at the team hotel on Friday night but merely exchanged greetings.

"I said hello" Cashman said. "I don't walk by him. He's a member of this team."

But Cashman admitted that the ongoing drama with Rodriguez -- who is not only appealing a 211-game drug suspension but also accusing the Yankees of mismanaging his medical care during last year's postseason and conspiring with Major League Baseball to run him out of the game and in the process free themselves of the remainder of his 10-year $275 million contract which runs through 2017 -- is detracting from his ability to do his job.

"Is this a distraction? For me yes" he said. "I can't speak for others but I know it's definitely a distraction for me. I've got a lot of extra work from this stuff. It's very frustrating."

Cashman cited as an example his inability to give an update on the condition of Derek Jeter currently on the disabled list and rehabbing a calf injury in Tampa.

"There's not much to say other than the fact that I wish we weren't dealing with any of this stuff" Cashman said.

Just over the past three days Rodriguez has been accused in a story from CBS-TV's "60 Minutes" of having implicated other players including his teammate Francisco Cervelli in the Biogenesis scandal to a sports website on Friday. Then on Saturday Rodriguez's new attorney Joe Tacopina alleged that the Yankees had misled the player about the extent of his hip injury during last October's playoffs and claimed that team president Randy Levine had told A-Rod's hip surgeon Bryan Kelly "I don't ever want to see him back on the field again."

Levine strongly denied that charge on Saturday and Cashman repeated the denial on Sunday.