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Alex Rodriguez Suspension Now 162 Games

The result of Alex Rodriguez's appeal is in, and he will be suspended for 162 games, Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets. Rodriguez plans to appeal the suspension in federal court. The suspension will cover the full 2014 season, and also the postseason, Yahoo! Sports' Tim Brown tweets. The suspension previously was 211 games. Even though the suspension was reduced, the decision by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz appears to be a victory for Major League Baseball, which won a suspension for A-Rod that goes far beyond those of other first-time PED offenders.

"The number of games sadly comes as no surprise, as the deck has been stacked against me from day one," says Rodriguez in a statement released on his Facebook page. "I am confident that when a Federal Judge reviews the entirety of the record ... the judge will find that the panel blatantly disregarded the law and facts, and will overturn the suspension."

The MLBPA, meanwhile, says in a statement that it disagrees with the arbitrator's decision, but respects the process that led to it. "We recognize that a final and binding decision has been reached, however, and we respect the collectively-bargained arbitration process which led to the decision," says the union.

A-Rod's suspension for the entire season means the Yankees will save about $24.3MM against the 2014 luxury tax threshold. Rodriguez's luxury-tax figure is $27.5MM, but Joel Sherman of the New York Post notes (via Twitter) that the Yankees will be assessed about $3.16MM of that, since 183 days, and not 162, counts as a year. In any case, the suspension could help the Yankees get below the $189MM threshold, if they choose. The Yankees will also save $25MM in salary.

That savings could give the Yankees more flexibility to pursue Masahiro Tanaka or other free agents. Also, the Yankees may now look for another option at third base, even though they have Kelly Johnson -- a report earlier today indicated that they could consider Michael Young or Mark Reynolds, both of whom are free agents.








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