Third baseman Alex Rodriguez departed the New York Yankees' minor league complex on Thursday after completing a simulated game at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla., and the team announced afterward that he will head to Double-A Trenton for a rehab game on Friday.
There was no media access to Thursday's simulated game. Rodriguez fielded his position at third base and ran the bases between six at-bats. The Yankees announced that he saw 31 total pitches
Rodriguez briefly stopped to communicate with print reporters, but when a flock of television cameras noticed Rodriguez was talking, they crashed the scene and Rodriguez fled in his car.
He heads for Trenton with the cloud of a long suspension from Major League Baseball hanging over his heard.
ESPN reported Thursday night that talks between the two sides have stalled. Rodriguez wants assurances that he will receive at least some of the $100 million remaining on his conract and there also is a chasm between the number of games proposed for the suspension and what Rodriguez is willing to accept.
If Rodriguez is unwilling to accept a deal without an appeal, baseball could banish him for life, according to ESPN.
Trenton was part of his 13-game rehab leg from July 2 through July 20. Trenton plays host to Reading on Friday.
Rodriguez was expected to return to the Yankees' lineup for the first time in 2013 on July 22 at Texas. But on the same day, 2011 National League MVP Ryan Braun agreed to a suspension, without pay, for the rest of the 2013 season. Braun, who declared his innocence for more than 18 months after a urine sample showed elevated levels of testosterone, was involved in negotiating the terms of his suspension.
Rodriguez encountered tightness in his quadriceps, and his return to the Yankees was delayed. He held a conference call, with an attorney present, to outline a plan for his current rehab stint.
He infamously enlisted a second opinion from a doctor that later admitted he had never evaluated Rodriguez in person.
His physical readiness could become a secondary factor.
Baseball is expected to announce as early as Friday the suspensions for Rodriguez and numerous other active players tied to the Biogenesis of America scandal. MLB hasn't confirmed the length or extent of pending penalties.