Embattled New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez rejected Biogenesis of America founder Tony Bosch's request for financial assistance after Major League Baseball filed a lawsuit against Bosch in March, the New York Daily News reported Wednesday. Bosch sought hundreds of thousands of dollars, and when Rodriguez rebuffed his request, Bosch's next step was to cut a deal with MLB, according to the report. In return for providing details about his operation, Bosch wants MLB to drop its lawsuit against him. And unlike when Rodriguez rejected his request, baseball was more than willing to cut a deal with the South Florida anti-aging clinic founder, according to the newspaper. The Daily News reported that MLB was afraid that another player or players would agree to help Bosch -- and MLB sees Bosch as the man who holds the key to providing information for what ESPN's Jayson Stark characterizes as the "biggest drug bust in the history of sports. Period." MLB reached an agreement this week for Bosch's cooperation and plans to meet with him on Friday. And Bosch is more than ready to talk, multiple media outlets reported. Rodriguez, former National League MVP Ryan Braun and approximately 20 other players are squarely in MLB's sights. While Rodriguez might be the biggest and by far the highest-paid target, Stark said there are other big names on the list. Rodriguez could face a 100-game suspension -- and that's if he ever returns from February hip surgery. He continues to rehab in Tampa, and on Wednesday went about his business as usual, according to the Daily News. Rodriguez and the Yankees have targeted a return around the All-Star break for the 37-year-old third baseman. And while controversy swirls around Rodriguez, two current Yankees stars stepped up to support their teammate. Future Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera called Rodriguez his teammate and "my friend." CC Sabathia told ESPN that teammates would have Rodriguez's back. "I think there would be nothing but love and support in here," Sabathia said. Braun continues to deny ever purchasing performance-enhancing drugs from Bosch. According to the Daily News, Braun said his name appears in Bosch's ledger next to amounts owed and not next to a schedule of banned drugs. Braun's lawyers are adamant that their client's name appears in the ledger because of a disputed fee after they consulted with Bosch during Braun's appeal last year when the slugger was suspended for 50 games after being accused of using PEDs. Bosch confirmed what Braun's lawyers contend in an ESPN interview earlier this year. The Daily News said Bosch decided to cooperate with MLB after months of claiming he had been "falsely accused" in the media. In an April 30 interview with ESPN, he denied knowing anything about performance-enhancing drugs. As his legal bills mounted and the threat of criminal prosecution from the U.S. attorney in Miami became all too real, Bosch sought help from Rodriguez, according to the Daily News. Once Rodriguez rejected his request for financial assistance, Bosch had a change of heart, the newspaper reported. "He had concerns about criminal exposure," a source told the Daily News. "And it was a pain spending all his time hiding from investigators. All those things added up."
- Alex Rodriguez