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Alex Rodriguez's lawsuits kept separate for now

Alex Rodriguez arrives at Major League Baseball headquarters

Alex Rodriguez arrives at Major League Baseball headquarters in New York. (Nov. 19, 2013) Credit: AP

Alex Rodriguez's litigation against Major League Baseball will remain a docket doubleheader, at least for now, after a pair of federal judges ruled Friday that his two lawsuits will be handled separately.

In a joint order Friday, U.S. District Court judges Lorna G. Schofield and Edgardo Ramos said that two cases will proceed "before the currently assigned judges," rejecting a request from MLB and the Players Association -- which was included in the second suit -- that the two be combined.

The case known as "Rodriguez I" was filed in October, when Rodriguez sued MLB and commissioner Bud Selig for what he termed a "witch hunt" that damaged his career and reputation. This past Monday, he filed another suit seeking to reverse federal arbitrator Fredric Horowitz's decision, announced last Saturday, to suspend A-Rod for all of the 2014 season and postseason for violating baseball's drug agreement.

Players association lawyer Daniel Engelstein said Tuesday that Rodriguez had wanted the union to pursue "extraordinary remedies" outside of the arbitration process. He made that comment as he urged the court to hear the suits together.

The judges pointed out Friday that it still has to be decided whether the first lawsuit should stay in federal court. It could be sent to New York State court or be dismissed entirely. Their order said that "to the extent that any part of Rodriguez I remains thereafter, the Court may address any issues of consolidation."

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