Major League Baseball is no longer negotiating a settlement with New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez and could hand him a 214-game suspension on Monday, according to numerous reports.
Rodriguez said Friday after a minor league rehab game for Class AA Trenton that he believes the Yankees and the league want him banned so they can avoid paying the $95 million left on his contract. That reportedly infuriated commissioner Bud Selig as Rodriguez’s attorneys were seeking to negotiate with MLB to trim the length of the suspension.
MLB officials responded by rejecting Rodriguez’s request to negotiate a suspension settlement as talks broke down Saturday, a league source told the New York Daily News.
Players Association chief Michael Weiner reportedly reached out to the league to discuss a settlement but was told that MLB no longer wants to negotiate with Rodriguez.
Rodriguez also reached out to the Yankees on Saturday in an effort to negotiate a settlement on his remaining salary, according to the Daily News, but was told by the club this is a drug issue under the purview of MLB. The league has repeatedly stated the Yankees have no place in the negotiations.
In a rehab game with Double-A Trenton on Saturday night, he walked in all four plate appearances and afterward said he would work out on Sunday before joining the Yankees. The team is reportedly ready to activate Rodriguez on Monday but is uncertain if he’ll be available.
“I’m flying to Chicago,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez expects to play for the Yankees for the first time this season on Monday in a game against the White Sox. But the commissioner’s office might pull the plug on his plans.
Earlier Saturday, Yankees officials responded to Rodriguez’s claim that the team is trying to keep him off the field so it can void his contract and his assertion that he wants performance-enhancing drugs out of baseball.
The league is in the midst of deciding on punishment for Rodriguez and other players tied to South Florida anti-aging clinic Biogenesis and PED’s.
“This is typical Alex,” one Yankees official told the Daily News. “Instead of taking responsibility for his actions, he blames everybody else. It wasn’t the Yankees who introduced him to Anthony Bosch. It wasn’t the Yankees who introduced him to Dr. Galea, or anybody else.”
Bosch is the founder of Biogenesis and Galea is a human growth hormone proponent who treated Rodriguez in 2009.
Sunday is expected to be the deadline for players to accept Biogenesis-related suspensions. The official announcements are expected to come Monday.
While most of the other eight players who are expected to be suspended for 50 games reportedly are willing to accept their punishment, Rodriguez has said that he will appeal any suspension. If he does, he would likely be activated by the Yankees and be paid while the appeals process runs its course.
The 38-year-old believes that he thinks he can play another five years. He also said he will keep fighting and “follow due process” when it comes to any punishment that might be meted out from the Biogenesis investigation.
USA Today reported earlier that MLB has given Rodriguez a choice: either accept a suspension through the 2014 season or face a lifetime ban.
If Rodriguez accepts the suspension, it would result in him losing $34.5 million in salary. But he would still be due $61 million from 2015-17, as well as a possible $30 million in bonuses — if he averts a lifetime suspension.
“I think that’s the pink elephant in the room,” Rodriguez said Friday of his contract. “I think we all agree that we want to get rid of PEDs; that’s a must. All the players, we feel that way. But when all this stuff is going on in the background, and people are finding creative ways to cancel your contract, that’s concerning for present (players) and I think it should be concerning for future players, as well.”