Source: Alex Rodriguez expected to fight any suspension
Alex Rodriguez is expected to fight any suspension imposed by Major League Baseball, a source said Sunday, as it now appears suspensions are imminent for the Yankees third baseman and others in the Biogenesis probe.
The length of a possible suspension for Rodriguez -- which reportedly has ranged from 100 games to a lifetime ban -- remains unclear. MLB has the ability to seek whatever punishment it believes would be approved by an arbitrator, according to baseball's Basic Agreement.
Rodriguez, who is recovering from a grade 1 quadriceps strain, was not spotted Sunday at the Yankees' minor-league complex in Tampa. He is expected to be there until at least Thursday before beginning a rehab assignment.
MLB's disciplinary actions obviously could interfere with those plans -- or not, depending on how Rodriguez and his advisers choose to proceed. Rodriguez can appeal any disciplinary action by MLB.
Under the Basic Agreement regarding punishment for the use of performance-enhancing drugs, players are suspended 50 games for a first positive test and 100 games for a second and get a lifetime ban for a third. "He will fight any suspension vigorously with evidence,'' a source said Sunday.
The New York Post first reported Sunday that Rodriguez faces a suspension in the coming week and might be banned until the 2015 season.
On Thursday, Rodriguez reiterated during an interview on WFAN that his representatives have not been working with MLB on a plea agreement, which is what Ryan Braun of the Brewers did a week ago, accepting a suspension for the remainder of this season -- a total of 65 games.
There is no indication that negotiations have taken place between MLB and Rodriguez's representatives, but a last-minute settlement could always be negotiated.
With more than a dozen players possibly facing disciplinary action because of ties to Biogenesis, the alleged PED-distribution clinic in Miami, union executive director Michael Weiner indicated earlier this month that the appeals process is likely to push any challenged suspensions into 2014.
Weiner also had said those hearings might not take place until September. But if MLB suspensions are handed down this week, it's uncertain how much that might speed up the process. Once an appeal goes to a hearing, an arbitrator has up to 25 days to deliver a ruling.
Rodriguez repeatedly has denied any PED accusations as well as the alleged relationship with Anthony Bosch, who operated the now-closed Biogenesis clinic.
With Greg Auman in Tampa