MLB Prepared To Suspend Alex Rodriguez For Life

THURSDAY, 7:46pm: There's a wide gap between the suspension Rodriguez is willing to accept and the one MLB would like to issue, two sources familiar with the talks told T.J. Quinn and Andrew Marchand of  Negotiations between A-Rod and MLB appear to be stuck on the 38-year-old's desire to make sure he can cash in on at least some of the remaining $100MM owed to him.

Meanwhile, Joel Sherman of the New York Post (on Twitter) hears that A-Rod's camp doesn't plan to settle, but instead will fight any suspension through an appeals process.

The Yanks announced that Rodriguez will join Double-A Trenton on Friday to play in a rehab assignment game.  If he is not suspended and prevented from playing pending an appeal, A-Rod could rejoin the varsity squad as early as Sunday or Monday. 

WEDNESDAY, 7:38pm: Rodriguez is negotiating with MLB on the terms of a suspension, reports ESPN's T.J. Quinn. (Links to Twitter.) Quinn says that MLB is holding out the possibility of a lifetime ban while also preferring to avoid an appeal process, with Rodriguez coming to the negotiating table after learning of the extent of the evidence against him. Most of the players facing suspensions appear prepared to accept 50-game bans, Quinn further tweets.

6:15pm: MLB is prepared to ban Alex Rodriguez for the remainder of his playing career, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today. An announcement will likely come tomorrow or Friday, according to Nightengale's sources. Rodriguez's attorney, David Cornwell, says that the Yankee third baseman will appeal any suspension he receives. According to the report, MLB will base its action not only on Rodriguez's use of PEDs, but on the fact that he purportedly "lied to MLB officials while attempting to sabotage their investigation."

12:06pm: There is some potential Nelson Cruz might appeal a suspension, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

8:04am: MLB informed the players' union yesterday which players will be suspended this week, writes Bob Nightengale of USA Today.  Settlements talks could push an announcement to Friday, reports the Associated Press.

6:16am: MLB's Biogenesis suspensions could be issued as early as Thursday, according to Ken Davidoff and Joel Sherman of the New York Post.  Davidoff and Sherman confirm what Yahoo's Jeff Passan wrote yesterday:  most players involved are leaning toward a plea in the case, aside from Alex Rodriguez, who intends to fight any suspension.  

It's been rumored commissioner Bud Selig could sidestep the joint drug agreement by suspending A-Rod under his "integrity of the game" clause while also serving as the sole arbitrator of an appeal.  However, Davidoff and Sherman note that "the union could jump through some legal hoops to get the case to an arbitrator."  They also point out that upon striking the latest collective bargaining agreement, Selig assured MLBPA head Michael Weiner he wouldn't use the clause to negate players' rights.  In my opinion, denying Rodriguez a chance to present his case to an independent arbitrator would be doing just that.   

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