New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez plans to appeal a Major League Baseball suspension that is expected to come Monday and play in a game that night against the Chicago White Sox, according to multiple reports Sunday.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi has penciled Rodriguez into the lineup at third base for his season debut in Chicago, ESPN's Shelley Smith reported.
Rodriguez is expected to be suspended through the 2014 as a result of the Biogenesis case involving performance-enhancing drugs and for not being forthcoming with investigators, according to reports.
Rodriguez is one of approximately 10 major league players who are expected to be punished Monday, but his suspension is the only one that reportedly will extend behond the current season.
Rodriguez's suspension will span at least 215 games, but he likely will avoid a lifetime ban or allegedly violating the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
According to USA Today, the 38-year-old Rodriguez will file the appeal immediately, allowing him to play Monday night. The appeal could be heard by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz in the next three weeks.
Rodriguez planned to fly to Chicago on Sunday night to meet the team after playing in two rehab games for Double-A Trenton on Friday and Saturday. He is recovering from offseason hip surgery.
Rodriguez said Friday that he believes the Yankees and the league want him banned so they can avoid paying the $95 million left on his contract. That reportedly infuriated commissioner Bud Selig as Rodriguez's attorneys were seeking to negotiate with MLB to trim the length of the suspension.
MLB officials responded by rejecting Rodriguez's request to negotiate a suspension settlement as talks broke down Saturday, a league source told the New York Daily News.
Players Association chief Michael Weiner reportedly reached out to the league to discuss a settlement but was told that MLB no longer wants to negotiate with Rodriguez.
Rodriguez also reached out to the Yankees on Saturday in an effort to negotiate a settlement on his remaining salary, according to the Daily News, but was told by the club this is a drug issue under the purview of MLB. The league has repeatedly stated the Yankees have no place in the negotiations.
In a rehab game with Double-A Trenton on Saturday night, he walked in all four plate appearances and afterward said he would work out on Sunday before joining the Yankees.
"I'm flying to Chicago," Rodriguez said.
If Rodriguez were to accept a suspension, it would result in him losing $34.5 million in salary. But he would still be due $61 million from 2015 to 2017, as well as a possible $30 million in bonuses -- if he averts a lifetime suspension.
"I think that's the pink elephant in the room," Rodriguez said Friday of his contract. "I think we all agree that we want to get rid of PEDs; that's a must. All the players, we feel that way. But when all this stuff is going on in the background, and people are finding creative ways to cancel your contract, that's concerning for present (players) and I think it should be concerning for future players, as well."