The latest on the A-Rod mess via Jon Heyman -
Barring a last-minute change in tone and strategy by embattled Yankee Alex Rodriguez, Major League Baseball is expected to suspend Rodriguez through 2014 when it announces at least 10 suspensions Monday.
Rodriguez still has a day to try to cut a deal for a slightly lesser ban, but based on his latest suggestion according to a person briefed on the matter that he serve only 100 games, then “walk away from the game,” the hope for a settlement is diminishing as the clock ticks.
Rodriguez reached out to both MLB and the Yankees on Saturday looking to make a deal for less than half MLB’s offered ban of 214 games, then bizarrely threw in the suggestion that he could retire with full pay after he served the 100 games.
Of course, the reality is that he wouldn’t be paid if he retires, a major point he apparently missed as he tries to recoup as much of the $95 million remaining on his Yankees deal as he can.
Previously, Rodriguez had suggested to people involved in the case that he should receive a penalty of “less than (Ryan) Braun,” figuring that since he didn’t fail a non-survey test he should be lumped in with the other nine or so Biogenesis-linked players never previously suspended.
Rodriguez’s new offer to “walk away” seems to call into question how badly he wants to come back to play for the Yankees and seems to emphasize the financial aspect of things instead.
If A-Rod went to MLB people and admitted his wrongdoing — what is said to be “massive violations” — and agreed to a penalty in the range of one year (162 games), it’s possible MLB would listen. But Rodriguez appears more likely at the moment to decide to appeal the 214-game ban through ’14 and take his chances with new MLB arbitrator Fredric Horowitz.
A lifetime ban, while mentioned earlier, appears to be off the table.
Rodriguez doesn’t seem to have the right mindset to accept even a 214-game ban. “He thinks he’s the victim. He can’t take responsibility,” said one person involved in the case.
Yet another involved person put it more bluntly, “He’s clueless as to what he did wrong.”
MLB and the union declined comment.
O.K., let’s say that this thing, in the end, results in A-Rod being suspended for the rest of 2013 and all of 2014 – and it’s supported by the arbitrator after the appeal. So, then, my question is: What happens in February of 2015 when then 39-year old Alex Rodriguez shows up in Yankees Spring Training down in Tampa and says “Hey, here I am to play. I still have three years on my contract and $61 million that you owe me. And, I’ve been working out for the last 19 months on my own and I’m ready to go!”
What the heck do the Yankees do with him then? Think this is a mess now? Just wait until 2015…