The ruling from arbitrator Fredric Horowitz in Alex Rodriguez's appeal of his 211-game suspension could come at any time, and is expected soon. An email containing Horowitz's decision will be emailed to all parties in the coming days that will decide how much, if any, of the 211-game suspension handed down by MLB last season will have to be served in 2014 and possibly beyond.
It has been since November 21st that the hearing portion of the appeal has taken place, concluding shortly after Horowitz ruled that MLB commissioner Bud Selig would not have to testify. Rodriguez's lawyers have said that they will take the matter to federal court if Horowitz upholds the suspension, but it is unlikely that the decision would be overruled at that level. A stay of Rodriguez's suspension would also need to be obtained for him to be allowed to play while the matter was sorted out in a higher court, which seems like it would be difficult to obtain from the commissioner's office.
Horowitz's ruling can't come soon enough for the Yankees, who have been waiting to see what the picture of their team will be in 2014. With Rodriguez's money still on the books if he is not suspended, the Yankees would have something like $26 million less to work with for next season than they would have if Horowitz agrees with the full season of suspension. There is also the matter of needing to fill the vacancy at third base if Rodriguez misses all or part of the 2014 season. It may be a little easier to throw a few more chips on the table for Masahiro Tanaka if the Yankees aren't on the hook for what is owed to A-Rod next year.
Brian Cashman has said that the team will not sign free agent shortstop Stephen Drew, but that could always change if the team finds out they will be without Rodriguez for at least the entirety of 2014. A better idea of the situation heading into next season should be coming soon. With time before pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training dwindling, and this whole situation becoming more frustrating and ridiculous at every turn, Horowitz's decision can't come soon enough. Even still, it sounds like that could be just the beginning.
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