Source: Alex Rodriguez will appeal suspension, allowing him to play for Yankees Monday
Alex Rodriguez will be suspended by Major League Baseball Monday, but after appealing the decision, he is expected to be in the lineup for the Yankees Monday night in Chicago, according to sources close to the situation.
MLB will suspend Rodriguez for his alleged connection to Biogenesis, a now-closed anti-aging clinic in Miami that reportedly supplied performance-enhancing drugs to numerous players. Rodriguez's suspension -- one of several expected to be handed down Monday -- is likely to be for the remainder of this season and all of next -- a total of 214 games, the source said.
Rodriguez will appeal the suspension, a source said Monday night.
The suspension will be according to baseball's Joint Drug Agreement, which allows Rodriguez the opportunity to remain eligible. He insisted this weekend that he will fight any disciplinary action through arbitration.
Baseball commissioner Bud Selig could have stopped Rodriguez from joining the Yankees if he instead chose to invoke the "best interests of baseball" clause, or Article XII of the collective-bargaining agreement, which states that a player can be suspended -- effective immediately -- due to "just cause" for conduct detrimental to baseball.
But that might have been too risky a move for Selig, who could have come under fire for too extreme a punishment in the eyes of an arbitrator.
Rodriguez's appeal could take up to 20 days for a hearing in front of arbitrator Fredric Horowitz. After that, Horowitz has up to 25 days to render a decision, which could take until mid-September.
A suspension of 214 games would cost Rodriguez roughly $35 million. Rodriguez, 38, has four years remaining on his 10-year, $275-million contract, the biggest in baseball history.
Over the weekend, Rodriguez's representatives reached out to MLB to request a meeting -- using the union as an intermediary -- but were told there would be no further negotiations, according to sources.
The only precedent in the Biogenesis case has been Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, who was suspended July 22 for the remainder of this season, a penalty that amounts to 65 games. In arbitration, Rodriguez will point to Braun's case in an effort to reduce any penalty that exceeds those 65 games.
Stuck in the middle are the Yankees, who were told by MLB that Rodriguez will be suspended Monday but were not told the length of the suspension, according to The Associated Press.
On Friday, Rodriguez took some veiled shots at the Yankees when he said, "When all this stuff is going on in the background and people are finding creative ways to cancel your contract and stuff like that, I think that's concerning for me."
Manager Joe Girardi, with his team struggling offensively, has talked about welcoming back Rodriguez as if the looming suspension would not be an issue.
"I think all of us are curious as to what's going to happen," Girardi said Sunday before the Yankees' 6-3 loss to the Padres in San Diego. "But in my mind, I have him penciled in there [Monday].''
On Sunday, Rodriguez had a light early-afternoon workout before the Trenton Thunder's 5 p.m. game. He took batting practice, fielded grounders at third base and did some running during the session, which lasted less than an hour.
He left Trenton without speaking to reporters, but after Saturday night's game, Rodriguez talked about being excited to join his teammates, adding, "I haven't seen my brothers in a long time."
Rodriguez last played for the Yankees more than nine months ago in their playoff loss to the Tigers, when he was hobbled by an injured hip that required surgery during the offseason. He nearly made it back last month, but a day away from joining the team in Texas, he was diagnosed with a grade 1 quadriceps strain and put back on the disabled list July 22.
This time Rodriguez should be in the Yankees' lineup, and he might even be able to stay there well into September even if he ultimately is forced to sit out.
As for MLB's disciplinary action, Rodriguez insists he not only has more to give the game but more to say about his situation, too.
"When the time is right," he said Saturday night, "I'll tell my full story."
With Steven Marcus