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The Strike Zone

A-Rod returning to field as Biogenesis saga takes another twist

Alex Rodriguez, Yankees Alex Rodriguez could be back with the Yankees by Monday, if he doesn't get suspended first. (Chris O'Meara/AP)

On Thursday, Alex Rodriguez took part in a 30-minute simulated game at the Yankees’ spring training facility in Tampa. There were no fans at Steinbrenner Field -- only a group of reporters documenting the final agonizing days of A-Rod. Now the circus moves to Trenton: the Yankees announced that Rodriguez will join the Yankees’ Double-A team to play in rehab games Friday and Saturday night. The Trenton Thunder face the Reading Fighin' Phillies at 7:05 tonight.

Rodriguez could re-join the Yankees in Chicago on Monday -- of course, only if Bud Selig doesn’t drop the hammer before then. As of Thursday night, with suspensions for Rodriguez and eight other major league players looming, the Yankee third baseman was reportedly in negotiations with major league baseball on a settlement to avoid a lifetime ban and preserve some of the $100 million owed to him through 2017. MLB is expected to announce the suspensions of at least eight players before Monday, but Rodriguez’s fate could remain up in the air if negotiations continue through the weekend. ESPN reported Thursday that talks between Rodriguez and MLB were far apart on a settlement. Rodriguez and his advisers seem to be willing to fight any suspension through the appeals process -- but the pressure on Rodriguez to take a deal may be mounting.

PRICE: Insights from an exclusive interview with A-Rod

According to the New York Daily News, federal prosecutors have launched an investigation into Biogenesis, raising the possibility of criminal drug distribution charges, as well as the possibility the feds could subpoena Rodriguez, which would mean any statements he makes in arbitration would be available to prosecutors.

And so the wait -- and the drama -- continues.

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