TRENTON, N.J. - Shortly before playing in what might have been the final professional game of his tainted career, Alex Rodriguez was turned down Saturday in his request for a meeting to possibly broker a deal with Major League Baseball, sources confirmed, and now must wait for his suspension to be announced tomorrow along with the rest of the Biogenesis-linked crew.
In the meantime, Rodriguez remains on a collision course with the Yankees, who open a three-game series Monday in Chicago. A-Rod has every intention of being there. He plans to work out Sunday and catch a flight afterward regardless of what MLB has planned for him.
"I'm flying to Chicago," Rodriguez said after completing his two-day rehab stay with Double-A Trenton. "I can't wait to see my teammates. I feel like I can help us win and I haven't seen a lot of my brothers in a long time."
Rodriguez spoke for just under four minutes Saturday night and deflected a question about his attempts to work out a settlement with the Yankees or MLB.
"As far as any of that stuff, I'm going to let those guys take care of what they need to take care of," Rodriguez said. "I'm not going to address anything like that."
Reaching out to MLB and the Yankees seemed contrary to Rodriguez's stance Friday night, when he annoyed both with his accusatory tone during a surreal tirade that suggested that people were trying to find "creative" ways to "cancel" the remainder of his $275-million contract. He also made veiled references to the two as potential co-conspirators in attempting to keep him off the field.
Up to that point, MLB had been open to negotiating plea deals with the players allegedly connected to Biogenesis. But after Friday's postgame rant, MLB decided it was done with Rodriguez, who was told -- through the union as intermediary -- that there would be no more discussion and that his sentence would be handed down Monday. ESPNNY reported late Saturday that Rodriguez is likely to be suspended through the 2014 season.
As for his alleged involvement with Biogenesis and the accusations of being a PED cheat, Rodriguez suggested that he has a different version of the events, one that he will explain to his daughters someday.
"I plan to sit my girls down with [ex-wife] Cynthia, and we're going to have a lengthy conversation," Rodriguez said. "And I'll have an opportunity to tell it all. At some point, I'll have that platform, and when the time is right, I'll tell my full story."
Rodriguez played his second rehab game Saturday night with Double-A Trenton, and after his spectacular home run Friday, this was much less dramatic. A-Rod, greeted with the usual mixture of boos and cheers, walked in all four of his plate appearances.
The last time Rodriguez came this close to returning to the majors, he was put back on the DL July 22 after being diagnosed with a grade 1 quadriceps strain.
Now that Rodriguez again is on the verge of joining the team, the Yankees must at least entertain the possibility. That made his comments Friday a bit unsettling to the team.
"If I had a chance to sit down and talk with him, I might talk to him about it," Joe Girardi said. "I'd probably talk to him to make sure his head was OK and he was focused on playing baseball."
Despite MLB's stance, Rodriguez has maintained that he is not interested in making any deals. If A-Rod is suspended until 2015, that would amount to 214 games and a financial hit of roughly $35 million. Either way, Rodriguez has given every indication that he will fight any suspension through arbitration, with a source close to him saying Saturday, "[MLB] is done talking, we're done talking. We haven't been talking.''
On Friday, Rodriguez did not sound like someone looking for a compromise, and he escalated his battle language against the Yankees and MLB.
"There's more than one party that benefits from me not ever stepping back on the field -- and that's not my teammates and it's not the Yankee fans," Rodriguez said Friday.
The New York Daily News reported that A-Rod's representatives on Saturday tried to get a meeting with the Yankees to work out a settlement for the nearly $100 million left on his deal. They were shot down, with the Yankees reportedly telling A-Rod's group that it is a PED-related matter beyond their control.
With Erik Boland in San Diego
and Steven Marcus in New York