Alex Rodriguez verdict expected by mid-December

Patrick Smith

The Alex Rodriguez appeal hearing will start back up again on Monday after a long hiatus. This time around, Team A-Rod will be able to state their case in front of the three-man panel that will decide the fate of the 38-year-old third baseman. The hearing had been postponed because of independent arbitrator Frederic Horowitz's busy schedule, but now it looks like he's determined to finish the proceedings this time around.

The appeal is scheduled to go every day from November 18 to November 27, including weekends. If A-Rod's testimony proves to be a long process, a verdict could come by mid-December as it is expected to take a few weeks before judgement is rendered.

That means this whole circus could be over sooner than we all think. The Yankees need to figure out just how much money they'll be on the hook for in 2014, whether it's his entire year's salary, a portion of it, or none of it at all. While mid-December might not be very late into the offseason, it's hard for the team to suddenly enter into the fray at that point. The team will likely contact free agents like Michael Young and Juan Uribe and will continue to look for potential trade partners just in case.

The Yankees have already tried to trade for David Freese without even knowing what is going to happen, but that's ok, because they'll need a second third baseman either way. It's just a matter of leverage if they try now versus if they try after he gets suspended.

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