Alex Rodriguez verdict could come in 2014

Mike Stobe

This is worst case scenario for the Yankees

After Alex Rodriguez walked out of his own appeal hearing, the proceedings ended and now independent arbitrator Frederic Horowitz will render a verdict based on the evidence A-Rod's team was able to present. Still, it sounds like Rodriguez is confident, declaring "We crushed it. They had nothing.''

Before a verdict can be announced, both sides have until December 11 to file written briefs, or closing arguments, and then have another 10 days after that, so until December 21, to reply to each other. After that, Horowitz will have 25 (or more?) days to announce his decision. Meaning, if he takes the full time, and if he's not allotted more time as has been suggested, a decision might not be announced until around January 15, almost one month before pitchers and catchers report to spring training.

As for the verdict itself, Team A-Rod seems split. While Rodriguez himself seems to think he'll be fine, his lawyer Jordan Siev "can't imagine Alex walks out of there with nothing," though he also believes that "There's no physical evidence at all, just [Anthony] Bosch's testimony. And if you don't believe Bosch, there's no case. Period. End of story.'' Joe Tacopina is already in the process of obtaining an injunction to prevent a suspension from being implemented.

It had been announced that Rodriguez would make their unused evidence public, however that has been stopped. Instead, there will be a press conference next week where they plan to make public materials not entered into evidence for the appeal. This material will still be used as evidence in A-Rod's lawsuit against Major League Baseball and Yankees team doctor Chris Ahmad, though.

If you were hoping there would be a quick ending to this circus, you were dead wrong. Not only will this matter linger on for another two months, but it is sure to include a few curveballs here and there. Who knows what kind of evidence will be brought out next week, it could be nothing or it could be world-changing. All we can do is wait and suffer and not be surprised about anything.

In the end, the Yankees are the ones who lose the most. If a verdict isn't announced until January, and then an injunction is filed and this goes to Federal court, what do the Yankees do at that point? Rodriguez plans to prepare for the season like he is going to play, but would he even be allowed to play if this spills over into the season? Would the Yankees have to pay him if he's not? They need to know what to do because if they continue the offseason like they have Rodriguez at third base, they're going to be disappointed when he's suddenly ineligible to play and everyone is signed. No one needs a verdict faster than the $189 million Yankees, but at some point they're going to have to make a decision to move on.

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