Following reports from USA Today and The Associated Press that MLB commissioner Bud Selig is prepared to hit Rodriguez with a lifetime ban based on the findings of the league’s investigation into the now-defunct Biogenesis clinic, A-Rod’s representatives are softening their stance that they will fight any punishment levied by the league.
According to ESPN, Rodriguez would face a lengthy suspension — most likely through the 2014 season — but not a lifetime ban if he were willing to cut a deal with MLB.
Although Rodriguez is one of perhaps as many as 10 to 20 players who could be disciplined by MLB in the coming days because of their ties to the Biogenesis clinic, which reportedly sold performance-enhancing drugs to numerous players, his punishment is expected to be more severe because the league believes Rodriguez tried to interfere in its investigation, according to ESPN.
Rodriguez, still working his way back from offseason hip surgery, has yet to play in the majors this season. His recent minor league rehab assignment was halted on July 21 when he suffered a quadriceps strain, and he is expected to start another rehab assignment Friday.
But it remains to be seen whether Rodriguez will play for the Yankees this season, next season or ever again.
Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun already has accepted a 65-game suspension that will sideline him through the remainder of this season. Among the other notable players who could face 50-game bans (or longer) for their alleged ties to Biogenesis and PEDs: Texas Rangers right fielder Nelson Cruz, Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta and Oakland A’s right-hander Bartolo Colon. If suspended, those players would need to decide whether to accept their punishments or appeal, and their decisions will affect pennant races because their teams are in playoff contention.