In an unexpected move that signals he has accepted his fate, Alex Rodriguez has voluntarily dismissed his lawsuit against Major League Baseball, the player's union and Commissioner Bud Selig.
The lawsuits — filed after his 162-game suspension was decided upon by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz in January — sought to upend baseball's discipline of the New York Yankees third baseman. He has been linked to PED use in the Biogenesis scandal. His suspension also included penalties for obstructing MLB's Biogenesis investigation. Unless A-Rod makes another legal move (and it sounds like he won't), this ends another chapter of the ugly Biogenesis saga.
A-Rod had vowed to "exhaust all options" to get justice, but it looks like he might just be exhausted. According to the Associated Press, A-Rod's legal team filed notices of dismissal in federal court in Manhattan. A-Rod's lawyer, Joe Tacopina, has told reporters that the embattled ex-star has accepted his suspension:
#AROD BREAKING: Rodriguez dropping suits, accepting his suspension, lawyer Tacopina confirmed in e-mail.
— steven marcus (@newsdaymarcus) February 7, 2014
A-Rod could refile his lawsuit later, since it was a voluntarily dismissal. Or, as baseball writer/ex-lawyer Wendy Thurm suggested, this turn of events could have meant that A-Rod is working out a deal with MLB. But based on what we know right now, it sounds like A-Rod has simply thrown up the white flag.
MLB quickly issued a statement Friday about A-Rod's "prudent decision" to drop his lawsuit:
“We have been informed that Alex Rodriguez has reached the prudent decision to end all of the litigation related to the Biogenesis matter. We believe that Mr. Rodriguez’s actions show his desire to return the focus to the play of our great game on the field and to all of the positive attributes and actions of his fellow Major League Players. We share that desire.”
The MLBPA issued this short statement via Twitter:
MLBPA: "Alex Rodriguez has done the right thing by withdrawing his lawsuit. His decision to move forward is in everyone's best interest."
— MLBPA (@MLB_PLAYERS) February 7, 2014
A-Rod, 38, is eligible to return for the 2015 season, in which he'd be paid $21 million. He's owed a total of $61 million by the Yankees for 2015-2017. The team will save $25 million if he doesn't play in 2014.
The next big question mark in this saga is whether the Yankees will welcome him back in a year, seek to void his contract or just cut ties with him altogether.
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