A final verdict to the Alex Rodriguez suspension appeal is expected to be announced in early January. Independent arbitrator Frederic Horowitz is expected to announce his decision through an email sent to both parties. A decision is likely to come next week, but, according to Jon Heyman, not until after Wednesday, January 8, 2014, when the Hall of Fame announces this year's inductees. Heyman says that an announcement might not come until Friday the 10th, at the earliest, in order to prevent any unnecessary distractions.
This means another week of waiting around to find out whether or not the Yankees will have A-Rod for all, part, or none of the coming season. It also means another week of inaction from as they wait to see how much money they have left to spend. As it stands right now, the market is completely frozen as it awaits the signing of Masahiro Tanaka, who has until January 24th to negotiate with teams before he needs to make a decision.
The Yankees will hopefully know about A-Rod by then and a suspension would likely help them offer the most money to the Japanese right-hander. On the other hand, losing Rodriguez could leave a big hole in the lineup, now that Robinson Cano has left. They can sign Mark Reynolds, but he won't really offer what A-Rod can, when healthy.
In the end, it might be best for the Yankees if Alex Rodriguez gets off on all charges. They maintain their best bet a third base and can still go over the $189 million budget to get Tanaka. The Yankees are so close to their self-mandated cap that they're likely to go over no matter what happens. Having A-Rod might not really effect their chances of getting Tanaka if they're willing to go well above the budget to get him.
Alex Rodriguez beating his suspension will really have the most effect on the Yankees' roster construction. They have put together so many platoon players at this point, with Brian Roberts, Kelly Johnson, and Brendan Ryan, that it will likely come down to a backup third baseman or a fifth outfielder. This could mean the difference between signing Reynolds and keeping Ichiro Suzuki around. Who would you rather have?
Right now it's all hypotheticals and possibilities, but what do you think? What should the Yankees be rooting for? What are you? Will A-Rod tell us all about his victory during the Hall of Fame announcements?