The entire saga with Alex Rodriguez, the Yankees, MLB, and Biogenesis is coming to a head this week. The big bombshell is that MLB is prepared to ban A-Rod from the game is he does not reach a settlement on terms of a suspension, according to HardballTalk and Bob Nightengale. No announcement is expected until Thursday or Friday.
Here’s an excerpt from the USA Today:
In banning Rodriguez for life 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.”
The thing that makes this steroid case different from others, the reason why MLB has been so aggressive with jumping past the 50-game suspension, is because the MLB Player’s Union has been quiet when in the past they would fight hard against any actions taken against one of its players.
Deadspin interviewed Gene Orza, the former head of the MLBPA, who explained the reason they are likely staying quiet in this situation:
“The Players Association is a historically aggressive defender of its members. This is not like them. My answer is that it’s not like them for a reason,” he said. “There’s something else going on here. It wouldn’t surprise me if there were lots and lots of hard evidence. The very fact that the Players Association is not criticizing Major League Baseball for dealing with this rather unseemly character tells me that there’s a reason they’re not doing it.”
A-Rod and his lawyers are prepared to appeal any suspension. It seems like MLB is simply threatening a lifetime ban as a negotiating ploy to get A-Rod to accept a lesser suspension. This way it could avoid a lengthy appeals process that would certainly be drawn out for the rest of this season and potentially part of next as well.
There are a lot of different opinions of how this would play out if MLB tries to go through with its threat of a lifetime ban. With the evidence MLB seemingly has, which includes the use of PED’s, advising other players on how to obtain PED’s, and attempts to destroy evidence from the Biogenesis clinic, it seems likely that any suspension he does get will be a lengthy one.
Of course, if A-Rod is suspended this year it is a big blow to the 2013 Yankees playoff chances. They have gotten absolutely no production from their third basemen this year and A-Rod wouldn’t even have to be near the elite player he once was to be a big improvement for them.
If A-Rod is suspended it would save the Yankees a lot on the luxury tax which would be huge as they attempt to lower payroll to $189 million next season. For instance, if he were to be suspended for the entire 2014 season, the Yankees would save $25 million next season along.
If somehow A-Rod were suspended for the rest of his career then the Yankees would be off the hook for the remainder of his contract. That would mean, with insurance covering most of this season, they would only have paid him roughly $156.6 million over five years. Considering the fact that they got a World Series and a .282/.370/.503 line out of him during those five years that makes what was a horrible contract seem pretty good.