Alex Rodriguez reportedly could be suspended through the end of the 2014 season. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
There are "strong indications" that Major League Baseball will announce further suspensions in the Biogenesis case this week, including a ban of Alex Rodriguez through next season, The New York Post's Joel Sherman and Ken Davidoff are reporting.
According to a report in the New York Daily News, Rodriguez could face a lifetime ban from baseball if he does not agree to an MLB-brokered deal. The Daily News reported that baseball is "armed with voluminous evidence they believe would warrant lifetime banishment." A source close to Rodriguez told the paper, however, that he is "sticking to his story" and will not accept a deal.
For the league, making the announcement this week allows MLB to levy 50-game suspensions -- the penalty for failing a performance-enhancing drug test for the first time -- on the more than 15 players who are expected to face sanctions.
The league suspended Ryan Braun earlier than the rest of the offenders because he accepted the penalty without appeal. MLB wants to provide the other offenders the opportunity to serve their suspensions without appeal, as well, so they can start next season with a clean slate, according to the report.
Rodriguez is seeking a similar settlement to Braun, but will likely face much harsher penalties.
From The Post report:
It is expected other players will do the same this week. To that end, Rodriguez’s representatives met with MLB officials in the past few days, The Post has learned. It is believed A-Rod’s camp was trying to gain a better understanding of potential penalties. However, a member of Rodriguez’s team told The Post yesterday it is “unequivocally untrue” that Rodriguez is seeking a settlement.
Rodriguez does not fit into this category. It has become evident MLB is going to demand Rodriguez’s punishment far exceed Braun’s. That is because MLB believes the combination of being a user and obstructing the case demands a much stiffer penalty — especially because Rodriguez has admitted to previous drug use from 2001-03 and because MLB believes Rodriguez subsequently lied to its investigators in previous interviews about his usage.
Commissioner Bud Selig could ask for a lifetime ban of Rodriguez, but an arbitrator may rule that the penalty be reduced, and Rodriguez is prepared to fight any suspension, The Post reports.
The expectation was Rodriguez had hired a cavalry of lawyers, private investigators, crisis managers and spokesmen to fight any sanction. Publicly, his camp has been feisty — and more — in trying to mount a case that both MLB and the Yankees have tried to injure his reputation and keep him from playing.