Major League Baseball has designated executive vice president Rob Manfred and senior vice president Dan Halem to defend its 211-game suspension of Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, a person familiar with the arbitration process said Tuesday.
The Manhattan headquartered law firm of Proskauer Rose LLC will assist MLB, the person said.
Manfred coordinated MLB's investigation into Biogenesis, which linked 14 players to performance-enhancing drugs from the former anti-aging clinic in Miami. Rodriguez was the only one to appeal his suspension. A pre-arbitration status conference is scheduled for Wednesday at an undisclosed location, a source told Newsday on Saturday.
In announcing Rodriguez's suspension on Aug. 5, MLB said in a statement that his discipline was based on the "use and possession of numerous forms of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including Testosterone and human growth hormone, over the course of multiple years," and that further discipline was based under the Basic Agreement for "attempting to cover-up his violations of the Program by engaging in a course of conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate the office of the commissioner's investigation."
Rodriguez, who is permitted to play during the arbitration process, will be represented by his own attorneys and lawyers from the Major League Baseball Players Association.
Arbitrator Frederic Horowitz can uphold, overturn or reduce the suspension.
Manfred was a practicing attorney before joining MLB in 1998. Halem previously served in the labor and employment law department at Proskauer. He joined MLB in 2007.