Major League Baseball is prepared to make a very serious example out of Alex Rodriguez.
UPDATE: Thursday, Aug. 1, at 7:15 a.m. ET by Brandon Galvin
USA Today's Paul White has the latest from Orioles manager Buck Showalter, Rodriguez's former skipper when he played for the Texas Rangers:
Showalter, who managed Rodriguez on the Texas Rangers, says he has no interest in discussing the suspension possibilities surrounding the Yankees third baseman but is taking aim at how New York could benefit...
... 'If Bud lets them get away with that, they're under the luxury tax," Showalter told USA TODAY Sports. "If they can reset, they can spend again and I guarantee you in two years Matt Wieters is in New York.'
---End of update---
UPDATE: Wednesday, July 31, at 8:42 p.m. ET by Eric Ball
T.J. Quinn of ESPN's Outside the Lines reports the latest with the A-Rod saga:
Sources tell OTL A-Rod and MLB are negotiating over a possible suspension, with MLB still holding out threat of lifetime ban.— T.J. Quinn (@TJQuinnESPN) August 1, 2013
MLB wants A-Rod off the field, but would like to avoid arbitration. A-Rod wants to avoid lifetime ban and limit time suspended.— T.J. Quinn (@TJQuinnESPN) August 1, 2013
---End of update---
Per Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk, the New York Yankees third baseman will be facing a lifetime ban from baseball if he isn’t willing to come to a settlement with the league regarding his imminent suspension:
A source familiar with the Biogenesis investigation tells HardballTalk that if Alex Rodriguez and Major League Baseball are unable to reach a settlement in connection with the Biogenesis matter, Major League Baseball will suspend Rodriguez for life.
Calcaterra’s report comes on the heels of a suspension handed down to Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun last week, effectively ending his season and setting an example for players who continue to test the system.
Do you think Rodriguez deserves a lifetime ban from baseball?
As Calcaterra notes, many believe Rodriguez was already facing a suspension that would span the rest of the 2013 season and the entirety of 2014. Should Rodriguez appeal a lifetime ban and have his expulsion overturned, he would still likely be looking at a 150-plus-game ban.
Rodriguez is the figurehead of the Biogenesis scandal MLB is currently investigating. Along with Braun and Rodriguez, as many as 15 players are expected to be suspended soon, per Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
Rodriguez is one of many players implicated in the scandal, but according to Calcaterra, MLB believes the 38-year-old played a much bigger role:
The league, according to the source, believes that it has “compelling evidence” of significant malfeasance on Rodriguez’s part, including use of performance enhancing drugs, steering other players who sought to take PEDs to the Biogenesis clinic and his attempts to obtain and possibly destroy evidence from the Biogenesis clinic.
MLB is expected to proceed with the suspensions of Rodriguez and the other players involved on Friday.
Rodriguez has yet to play a game with the Yankees this season following hip surgery in January, and the Yankees aren’t in any hurry to get him back in the lineup.
Instead of making a return last week, the Yankees decided to send him on another rehab assignment, per Wallace Matthews and Andrew Marchand of ESPN.