The constantly unfolding drama around when Alex Rodriguez and others connected to the Miami Biogenesis clinic may take another dramatic turn this week, as the New York Post reports that MLB is expected to announce suspensions for Rodriguez and other players over the next few days. The rush appears to be related to the fact that MLB wants to make sure there are at least 50 games remaining in the 2013 season, indicating that that may be the most common length of suspension.
The 50-game number, however, doesn't apply to Rodriguez, according to The Post. MLB is seeking to suspend A-Rod for the remainder of 2013 and the entirety of 2014. That's a far cry from the lifetime ban rumors, but would still be the harshest penalty handed down to a player involved with Tony Bosch if the assumption is that Ryan Braun would serve out the second-longest penalty of 65 games.
Joel Sherman reports that MLB always intended to announce all the suspensions at one time, but Braun's agreement to not appeal allowed them to announce his before the rest. Sherman also writes that other players are likely to do the same, but does not expect A-Rod to do the same. If any of them appeal, any first time offenders would be allowed to play throughout the appeals process. MLB wants to use the games remaining in the season as an incentive for players not to appeal the decision so that they could start over with a full season in 2014, according to Sherman.
It is also possible that MLB may view a suspension for the remainder of this season and all of next season for Rodriguez to be very much like a lifetime ban. Rodriguez is 38 years old and may not be in a position to come back in 2015, even though he would still be under contract with the Yankees, is the belief. Whether that is true or not remains to be seen, but it seems unlikely that A-Rod would willingly walk away from money owed to him if he had to sit out for over a year if he was able to play at all once his suspension was up. Perhaps the time off would be too detrimental to his abilities at his age.
The Yankees owe Rodriguez $61 million from 2015 through the end of his contract in 2017. That would be the penalty for walking away from the game after serving out a long suspension, but Sherman does write that there is a chance the Yankees could attempt to void the rest of the deal based on fraud. They cannot void his deal based on his alleged steroid use alone. Obviously a long suspension alone would save the team a large chunk of money that is owed to A-Rod for this season and next. As tense as things have been between Rodriguez and the team recently, you can bet that every avenue will be explored to see if there is a way to get out of the rest.
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