MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Major League Baseball is reportedly prepared to impose a suspension on New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez as early as this week, according to a report from the New York Post.
The Post reported the suspension for A-Rod will likely be for the rest of the 2013 season and the entire 2014 season. Based on Rodriguez’s contract, that would cost him more than $30 million over the next 18 months.
However, if Rodriguez accepted the year-and-a-half ban, he could come back for the 2015 season. He’s currently signed through the 2017 season under one of the worst contracts in the history of the New York Yankees franchise.
If Rodriguez took the suspension and came back in 2015, he’d be 40-years-old during the season. But, he’d be able to collect an additional $61 million from 2015 through 2017 based on his contract, which was originally signed in 2008 and totaled $275 million.
However, if Rodriguez were to be banned for life for his role in the Biogenesis/performance-enhancing drug case, he would lose his remaining salary this year, plus $89 million over the next four years.
While MLB Commissioner Bud Selig may seek a lifetime ban, there’s little chance that would make it past an arbitrator hearing the case, according to the Post. So, A-Rod may get to have a choice of facing a lengthy ban if he fights the suspension, or accept the suspension and be eligible for the rest of his money.
The Yankees have little role in the suspension because only the commissioner can levy penalties for performance-enhancing drug use, according to the Post. But, the Yankees still have plenty of chips in the game depending on what Selig does with Rodriguez.
A lifetime ban gets the Yankees out from A-Rod’s albatross of a contract. A multi-year ban would alleviate the financial hit somewhat, and the Yankees could theoretically try to void the rest of A-Rod’s contract, but that’s much tougher in baseball than in other sports.
In addition, the Yankees have to decide what to do with A-Rod until the commissioner’s office has made its decision on a suspension. Rodriguez has been rehabbing since offseason hip surgery, but is nearing being ready to play again this season.
The Yankees don’t want the circus that will accompany Rodriguez to drop on the team in the middle of a pennant race. But, once he’s cleared to play, the Yankees will have to either let him return, or make another move to deal with him being ready to be in the lineup.
If MLB suspends Rodriguez this week, it will take the onus off the Yankees and the team to a degree. It’s unknown whether A-Rod would try to play during the fight over the suspension, which could take months to settle.
All of it is contributing to a toxic atmosphere surrounding everything involved in the Alex Rodriguez case and distracting from some solid baseball action this season. It would serve all interests to move forward quickly, but only time will tell if that will happen.