The latest report from the New York Daily News' A-Rod Watch 2013 says the embattled Yankees third baseman has two options in his stand-off with MLB: Take a deal that would suspend him for the rest of 2013 and all of 2014, or face a lifetime ban.
It's another indication that Rodriguez — simultaneously at odds with the New York Yankees about his injury rehab and with MLB about the Biogenesis scandal — is unlikely to play this season. He's supposed to begin a second round of minor-league rehab this week, but reports indicate that MLB's impending suspension hammer would strike down upon him before that. The Daily News says MLB "hopes to know by Monday" whether A-Rod will take the deal. The resulting suspension or ban should follow pretty quickly.
It might sound like Bud Selig & Co. have A-Rod backed into a corner — the same corner Ryan Braun was in last week, only darker — but the Daily News quotes an A-Rod source as saying the 38-year-old with the $275 million contract isn't coping a plea, even if there's a pot of gold at the end.
A source close to Rodriguez said the player was sticking to his story that he has done nothing wrong and was unwilling to cut a deal.
“If there is a suspension,” the source said, “he will fight it.”
According to a source familiar with the discussions between MLB officials and A-Rod’s representatives, if Rodriguez accepted a settlement that would call for him to be suspended for the rest of this year and the entire 2014 season without pay, he would still have a chance to collect the $60 million the Yankees would owe him from 2015 to 2017.
MLB's case against A-Rod is believed to be strong, with phone records, text messages and e-mails that can link him to PED use between 2010-2012. MLB is also believed to have Rodriguez on the hook for meddling in the Biogenesis investigation. It sounds like enough that someone would be A-Rod's ear telling him to take the deal, to save whatever money and bits of his reputation he can.
If he doesn't, you have to wonder: Does A-Rod still think he's untouchable? Is he just that stubborn? Or does he have that much confidence in his legal team?
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