Alex Rodriguez is expected to appear Wednesday at the resumption of his appeal of the 211-game suspension handed down by Major League Baseball as a result of the Biogenesis probe, those familiar with the arbitration hearing said.
There is still no word on whether the Yankees third baseman will testify at the hearing, which is expected to continue for the rest of the week before going into recess during the World Series. Former MLB chief arbitrator George Nicolau said it would not be unusual for the presiding arbitrator to question the player bringing the appeal if there are matters requiring clarification.
It's possible that MLB chief operating officer Rob Manfred could be called to testify by MLB, according to a source. Manfred directed the Biogenesis investigation for commissioner Bud Selig and is part of the three-person arbitration panel.
Rodriguez, who was suspended Aug. 5 but played for the Yankees after filing an appeal, attended the first five eight-hour sessions at the beginning of the month and was visible before and after the confidential sessions, signing autographs outside MLB's offices on Park Avenue for crowds that reached into the hundreds.
The initial discussions centered on testimony and cross examination from Biogenesis founder Anthony Bosch, who is alleged by MLB to have distributed performance-enhancing drugs to Rodriguez and other players. MLB on Tuesday refused comment on any plans it may have to dismiss Bosch as a defendant from a Florida lawsuit against Biogenesis, the now-shuttered anti-aging clinic in Miami.
Rodriguez's case, to be presented by his personal attorneys and those from the Players Association, is expected to focus on many points mentioned in a suit Rodriguez filed against MLB and Selig on Oct. 3. Rodriguez said in court papers that the league is on a "witch hunt" and intent on pushing him out of baseball.
A decision by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz, who could uphold, overturn or alter the suspension, is expected to be announced within 25 days after the hearing is concluded.