Report: A-Rod willing to deal to avoid lifetime ban

The Sports Xchange

Major League Baseball will suspend Alex Rodriguez for life likely by Friday or sooner, according to USA Today.

Commissioner Bud Selig is prepared to levy a lifetime suspension on the New York Yankees third baseman, two people with knowledge of MLB's decision told USA Today on Wednesday.

The Rodriguez announcement, as well as the punishment for eight others, is expected Thursday or Friday.

Rodriguez's lawyer, David Cornwell, has continually said that any suspension will be appealed. Late Wednesday, ESPN reported Rodriguez's representatives were negotiating a possible settlement that could result in a lengthy suspension.

Other players who are expected to be punished for ties to Biogenesis, the South Florida clinic that allegedly provided performance-enhancing drugs, are expected to accept 50-game suspensions.

All-Stars Nelson Cruz of Texas and Jhonny Peralta of Detroit have been linked to Biogenesis and likely will be suspended. As many as 20 players reportedly had ties to Biogenesis, but because of a lack of evidence, some will go unpunished.

In recent days, MLB provided Rodriguez "volumes" of documents that establish links between Rodriguez and Biogenesis founder Tony Bosch, according to ESPN.

Rodriguez never has been punished for doping, yet MLB will argue that the slugger tried to sabotage their investigation, which would give reason for the lifetime suspension.

MLB also was given evidence supporting accusations that Rodriguez attempted to coerce at least one witness in its investigation, sources told ESPN.

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig could invoke Article XII (B) of the CBA, which states:

"Players may be disciplined for just cause for conduct that is materially detrimental or materially prejudicial to the best interests of baseball, including, but not limited to, engaging in conduct in violation of federal, state or local law."

Rodriguez, 38, has not played this year while he recovers from offseason hip surgery.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman announced Wednesday that Rodriguez would play in a simulated game Thursday in Tampa and will begin a minor league rehab assignment on Friday. Cashman refused to say where Rodriguez would make that rehab appearance.

"We have a schedule and we'll be checking the weather," Cashman said. "We don't want to say yet."

Rodriguez was ready to make his 2013 regular-season debut sometime last week, but that was scrapped when the three-time American League Most Valuable Player suffered a strained quadriceps.

Cashman refused to discuss the possible suspension of Rodriguez in the Biogenesis scandal.